Editorial:We Plead For Restraint

The National Elections Commission has begun announcing official preliminary results of Tuesday’s (11 October) general and presidential elections conducted throughout the country.

Giving progressive results Thursday at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium in Paynesville outside Monrovia, National Elections Commission Chairman James Fromayan, congratulated voters for turning out across the country to vote and expressed heartfelt gratitude to the entire citizenry of Liberia for demonstrating good deportment during the process.

Additionally, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) Election Observer Mission to Liberia has called on all Liberians, particularly political parties and candidates to demonstrate restraint and calm during the ballot counting and progressive results period until final results are announced by the NEC. The EISA Observer Mission also urged candidates and political parties to use legal and peaceful means to resolve any disputes related to the electoral process.

Similar plead was expressed Wednesday, just a day after the polls by the ECOWAS Observer Mission here to monitor the elections. “Given the individual and collective responsibility for the success of the process, the Mission urges all to resort to legal channels, where necessary, for the resolution of any electoral disputes”, said the Head of Mission, Professor Attahiru Jega, who is also Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria or INEC.

The need for restraint by all sides in this process cannot be over emphasized. Peace in Liberia is crucial to having sustainable peace and security in the entire sub-region. This is why Liberians should do everything necessary to sustain the peace here.

Candidates, political parties and registered voters peacefully went to the polls Tuesday and exercised their franchise in line with the Constitution of Liberia. The results of the elections are being progressively announced by the National Elections Commission or NEC, the body charged with the responsibility to do so definitively. We join our international partners in urging any and all groups with reservations about the process to seek the rightful recourse as lay down in the electoral laws.

Threats to put ‘supporters’ in the streets to express concern or dissatisfaction would be counterproductive to the peaceful environment that is needed to exercise the democratic tenets we all yearn for as Liberians. The process began on a very encouraging footing that should be embraced all stakeholders to make sure that its works not only for this generation, but future posterity. 

By heeding the pleads from our international partners to exercise restraints, wait on the NEC to announce final results of the polls and then pursue the legal means to express all dissatisfaction if any, Liberians would have demonstrated to the world that they are ready for serious business in moving ahead with political and economic stability, a fundamental pre-requisite for continuous support from the global community.

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