President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf says Liberia did not get the kind of support it thought it would have gotten from its partners for the conduct of elections during a difficult time of financial stress, supposing that partners felt maybe it’s time Liberia be on its own.
“To show the government’s commitment, we did not get the kind of support that we thought we would have gotten from our partners. Maybe they felt it was time for us to be on our own, so you see, and that’s fine. That’s exactly why we’ve done that,” Mrs. Sirleaf said Monday, 11 September while commissioning NEC Executive Director Mr. Lamin Lighe.
While commissioning Mr. Lighe at the NEC Headquarters in Sinkor on Monday, she revealed that government has been the main supporter of the elections at difficult times when the country has financial stress.
In spite of the level of support coming from partners, she however, praises the NEC for the manner in which it conducted past by-elections, thus demonstrating the Commission’s commitment of ensuring that the elections remain free, fair and transparent here.
She tells the NEC and its advisors and consultants that these elections are a defining moment for Liberia, saying they will determine whether the country goes forward and continue to rebuild, reconstruct, and promote democracy.
While acknowledging that those at the Commission have constitutional rights to exercise at the polls, President Sirleaf however demands total confidence and neutrality from the NEC.
She calls for free, fair and transparent elections, having given credit to the Commission for past elections it conducted in which she says there was full confidence both from the Liberian people as well as the international community.
In these pending elections involving 20 presidential candidates and nearly a thousand representative candidates seeking 73 seats at the House of Representatives, Mrs. Sirleaf cautions the NEC that there will be bigger difficulties, though she remains confident that Liberians are committed to the event.
After President Sirleaf commissioned NEC’s Executive Director Mr. Lamin Lighe, the NEC authority assured the president “of nothing less than free, fair, credible elections,” vowing that its outcome will not only be accepted by partners but by the people of Liberia.
He adds that with the support of the NEC’s Board of Commissioners and his technical team and partners, the electoral body will ensure that the transition is completed in its totality.
Earlier, NEC Chair Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya expressed delight to have President Sirleaf at the Commission, thanking her for the support of the government to the NEC.
He assured that the NEC is on good footing with the funding that government has provided, saying everything is on course.