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Opposition rules out violence

–As means to presidency

By Lincoln G. Peters  

Liberian opposition presidential hopeful Mr. Sheikh Moustapha Kouyateh has ruled out war, unconstitutional and violent means of acquiring state power here.

“If getting power through war and violence and unconstitutional means is the way, I say no to that,” Mr. Kouyateh told this paper in an exclusive interview Thursday, 1 June 2023 in Monrovia.

He noted that he does not consider violence as the means of unseating the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) regime.

A former CDC supporter, Mr. Kouyateh is seeking the presidency against incumbent President George Manneh Weah in the upcoming 10 October 2023 presidential and legislative elections. 

The leader of the newly accredited Liberia First Movement (LFM) explained that violence is not good, stating that he and all well-meaning Liberians reject any form of violence and unconstitutional removal of the government.

“We don’t support violence and war in this country. Violence has no good in our country and any country. We say no to violence, war, and any undemocratic and unconstitutional action,” Mr. Kouyateh emphasized.

Commenting on the vision of his party and his quest for the presidency, Mr. Kouyateh said he will be on the ballot this October.

He vowed to ensure that under his administration when elected, there will be the establishment of a war and economic crimes court to lay the foundation for justice and defeat impunity. 

“We will ensure that the war and economic crimes court is established. We will set the foundation for justice in this country,” Mr. Kouyateh promised.

According to him, his government will make sure that all those indicted by the international community are prosecuted and they will not take part in elections to come.

Regarding his political party, Mr. Kouyateh explained that LFM is interested in giving rights, liberty, and justice to all Liberians, regardless of their tribal background and political affiliation.

He hopes to build a new Liberia where people will not be judged [on] tribal background, but the basis of their character. 

“We are here to remind Liberians that their party’s vision is to build a one Liberia, indivisible, liberty and justice for all. This is a Liberian people party,” Mr. Kouyateh disclosed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kouyateh said LFM’s accreditation is not meant for elections alone, but to give power to the ordinary people to execute their democratic rights. 

“The certification of our party shows that we are more ready to deliver an inclusive Liberia where independence and justice will be for all,” he continued.

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