The political atmosphere in Liberia is saturated with violent comments, threats and counter-threats, bordering on results or delay of final results of the recent by-elections in Montserrado County, particularly in District#15 due to dispute by rival candidates over the July 29 poll.
Members of the four collaborating opposition political parties are overly confident they have won the district though six precincts containing 15 polling places have been in dispute and therefore, quarantined by the National Elections Commission.
But the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) vice chairman for interparty affairs Ulysses Barchue said NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya and co-conspirators will be held responsible for any retrogression of gains this country achieved over the years, threatening to institute radical approaches in line with the Constitution of Liberia.
Members of the opposition are beating war drum here, threatening to bemoan and fiercely resist a “clear deliberate attempt” by the National Elections Commission and the Government of Liberia to circumvent the will of voters in District #15.
The violent comments manifested thru actions Tuesday, August 13, near the headquarters of the National Elections Commission in Monrovia where leaders and supporters of rival parties had gathered to receive findings from NEC hearing officers, when stone battle ensued between rival sides, leading to postponement of the exercise by the NEC.Liberia cannot afford another cycle of violence, particularly at a time the country is beset by serious socio-economic challenges characterized by three digits inflation, high prices and exchange rate.
Already, the country is like a time bomb waiting to explode due to the prevailing economic hardship. This is why we caution all sides to be very circumspect in the current election rigmarole to keep the peace.
The parties should exercise restraints by waiting on the NEC to release findings into the District#15 investigation. If either side is unsatisfied, there are recourses under the law, including the NEC Board of Commissioners and the Supreme Court that can be explored.
Violence should not be an option as it could lead to worsening repercussions that this country just might not stomach. We should endeavor to maintain the current peace for the sake of ourselves and our children.
These moments need real patriots who will place Country above selfish political interest. The mark of a good leader is to maintain balance in the midst of distraction and provocation. Lest we should forget, voters are intelligent people. They know who they voted at the ballot box.