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Nationwide Address by H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

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I need not remind you that Tuesday, October 11, 2011, is Election Day; it is the day that each Liberian, 18 years old and above, who registered with the National Elections Commission, will exercise his or her franchise to vote for the President and Vice President and the members of the National Legislature who will govern and manage the affairs of our country for the next six years. I ask you to take this exercise very seriously because it is the most important decision any Liberian has the opportunity to make for the future of our country. You, every individual Liberian, will decide on that day what happens to Liberia, what happens to his or her community, and what happens to his or her personal life.

Nationwide Address by H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President of the Republic of Liberia
Regarding the Ensuing Presidential and Legislative Elections

On Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Fellow Liberians:

Let me first humbly request that we observe a moment of silence for our fellow countrymen and women who lost their lives during the course of this campaign season. May the Good Lord receive their souls and grant them peace as they rest in His Glorious Kingdom.

As the President of Liberia, as the President of all partisans, it is befitting, on such an historic night, that I bring you a message of great hope and abiding faith. Our country is at a defining moment in its historical journey. For more than three decades, we have never had back-to-back elections. We had free, fair and transparent democratic elections in 2005, and we are about to repeat it. If we do this well, and I’m convinced that we will, we MUST be proud of ourselves.

I thank all Liberians that have contributed to a campaign that has been violence free, and we call upon all of you, as we pray, that the election phase will be equally violence free.

As a country, we have seen and experienced too much: our people have suffered; our people have died; and our people have had to run away in order to survive. In the three decades of struggle for peace and democracy, I have been personally victimized, jailed more than once, forced into exile several times, and subjected to many years of verbal abuse. But we all thank God that under my leadership, the last eight years of peace and tranquility have been better than the previous fourteen years of violence and civil strife. We don’t want to go back there!

Fellow Citizens:

I need not remind you that Tuesday, October 11, 2011, is Election Day; it is the day that each Liberian, 18 years old and above, who registered with the National Elections Commission, will exercise his or her franchise to vote for the President and Vice President and the members of the National Legislature who will govern and manage the affairs of our country for the next six years. I ask you to take this exercise very seriously because it is the most important decision any Liberian has the opportunity to make for the future of our country. You, every individual Liberian, will decide on that day what happens to Liberia, what happens to his or her community, and what happens to his or her personal life.

I, as your incumbent President, and Vice President Joseph Boakai, seek re-election on Tuesday, October 11; and we will be grateful and appreciative for your votes so that we can together consolidate the gains we have made over the last six years and usher for you and your children the kind of enormous economic prosperity, tremendous opportunities and social justice you deserve. If, however, you decide to elect someone else, we commit ourselves to respect your decision; we commit ourselves to accept the results announced by the National Elections Commission.

We sincerely believe that respect for your decision and acceptance of the results announced by the National Elections Commission are absolutely necessary for the promotion and enhancement of our young democracy; the peace, stability and social justice we have enjoyed over the last six years can only be continued if we all commit ourselves to respect your decision and accept the results of these elections. I therefore call on my fellow compatriots who are competing in these elections to similarly publicly commit themselves to respect your decision and to accept the results announced by the National Elections Commission.

It is also important for our country and your future that these elections are free, fair and transparent; it is absolutely necessary that these elections will be free of violence or intimidation during the process and after the process. Accordingly, I call on all partisans of the Unity Party and all Liberians who support us or sympathize with us to be law-abiding, and to avoid engaging in violent or intimidating activities or inciting anyone to engage in violence or intimidation. This is one time in your individual lives that you should turn the other cheek, as the Bible advises, so that those who seek to provoke you to engage in violence will be disappointed. I call on all politicians, especially those who are candidates for these elections, to similarly denounce violence and intimidation.

Finally, we thank the religious communities that are now praying for Liberia, to pray for free, fair and transparent elections, to pray for elections free of violence and intimidation. We thank all Muslims who, on Friday, said prayers at their various Mosques, offering special prayers for our country.

Similarly, I implore all Christians, at their Sunday services in their various Churches today, to pray for our country. Prayers sustained Liberia during the most difficult period of its history, and I believe that prayers can certainly see us through these elections peacefully.

I thank all of our international partners who have joined in observing these elections, many of our regional partners, many of the leaders from many places in the world who will be joining us. We thank them for their contribution to a peaceful election.

May the God of our Fathers, who has brought us this far, guide us through these elections and continue to save the State.

I thank you.

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