The Executive Mansion has described as hate speech and inciting language a joint statement issued over the weekend by the ruling Unity Party and two opposition parties calling for the re-run of the October 10 polls.
UP officials announced here Sunday October 29, that the party was affirming its solidarity with opposition Liberty Party and the All Liberian Party, both of which have cited fraud and irregularities during the October 10 polls and are calling for a re-run of the polls.
The party’s chairman Wilmot Paye made several claims among which he accuses the National Elections Commission and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of denying Liberians their rightful votes.
But in a statement read by Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah, the President warned the three parties to refrain from utterances and actions that have the propensity to incite people and undermine the peace and stability of the country.
“These allegations fall in the category of “hate speech” and inciting language” which should be condemned and disavowed by all peace – loving Liberians,” a presidential statement read Monday, 30 October by Press Secretary Piah says.
With roughly a week to the conduct of a presidential run-off election expected between the UP’s presidential candidate Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC’s) Sen. George Weah on 7 November, the ruling party, ALP and LP are accusing the National Elections Commission (NEC) of lacking credibility to conduct the run-off.
But Piah maintained that the allegations are “completely baseless, and are an unfortunate attempt by agent provocateurs to undermine Liberia’s democratic process.”
He clarifies that at no time has President Sirleaf interfered in the process, outcome or results of the 2017 presidential and representatives’ elections.
“All meetings, interactions or exchanges between the Office of the President and the National Elections Commission were consistent with her constitutional role to ensure that the process was supported and such interactions were initiated at the request of the Commission and never held secretly but in the presence of others even on occasion with the presence of international representatives,” Piah says.
He adds that his boss has met with the numerous domestic and international observation missions, as well as the various technical advisors working to support the NEC. Having dismissed President Sirleaf’s involvement in claims of fraud levied by the parties, the Press Secretary echoes Mrs. Sirleaf’s warning to all parties to be reminded of their signature to the Farmington River Declaration.
The Declaration in question obliges all parties to pursue a peaceful judicial resolution to electoral disputes. The Presidency encourages all political parties with evidence of any issues relating to the elections to present such evidence through the appropriate legal channels so that the issues may be adjudicated and where necessary, to improve the elections process.
President Sirleaf reaffirms her confidence in the ability of the NEC to carry out the professional, credible and transparent elections that accurately reflect the will of the Liberian people and Liberia’s Judicial Branch to adequately, transparently, fairly and impartially adjudicate any dispute arising from the process.
The Presidency urges all Liberians to go to the polls peacefully, respecting every Liberian’s right to vote with dignity and pride, and embrace their neighbor, regardless of their political choice.
It adds that no one is entitled to electorate’s vote on the basis of party, ethnicity, religion or tribal affiliation and asks that all respect the outcome of the election.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah