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GeneralLiberia news

U.S. urges Liberians to examine candidates

By Lewis S. Teh

The United States Deputy Chief of Mission in Liberia Mr. Joel Maybury has urged potential voters to cross-examine candidates’ positions before casting their ballot this October.

“This is a Liberian cake. The U.S. Government isn’t bringing candidates to Liberia, but I would say it’s up to Liberians to examine candidates’ position ahead of this election,” Mr. Maybury said in Monrovia Tuesday, 27 June 2023.

Liberians are heading to the polls this October to elect leaders including a president and lawmakers.

Incumbent President George Manneh Weah is seeking a second six-year term.

Voters Registration in Maryland

Speaking at the launch of a US$1.5 million grant provided by USAID Liberia Civil Society Activity (CSA), Mr. Maybury said he was excited that Liberia gets to run her own election.

He held a Press Stakeout with scores of journalists following the launch of the grant.

Like other international partners, he said the U.S. is here as a friend to Liberia to monitor and not interfere with the Liberian main election.

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“This election is a homemade cake; Americans are not making your election. We’re not providing your candidates, but we hope that the people of Liberia will examine the position of the different candidates,” he said.

The U.S. Embassy official expressed his government’s hope that those in charge of running this election will take their jobs so seriously and do it with great credibility.

He cautioned that to develop the country isn’t only the public, but the institutions responsible.

At the same time, Mr. Maybury said the United States government hopes that the Liberian National Elections Commission (NEC) will give space to different candidates to express themselves openly.

He said the media play a crucial role in these processes, urging them to do their best to explain things to the people.

Maybury was quizzed about when will the United States government impose further sanctions on Liberians officials that are caught in corrupt practices.

In response, the Deputy Chief of Mission said the issue about sanctioning officials has absolutely no time frame. Instead, he said whenever it occurs, they impose sanctions.

“There is no timeline or definition, but it [does] occur certainly. It won’t affect the election, but if it [does] occur before the election, sanctions will be imposed,” he explained.

According to Mr. Maybury, the fact that corruption hasn’t occurred doesn’t mean the United States government isn’t interested in following up on fighting corruption.

He noted that it also doesn’t mean that civil society organizations here can’t continue to monitor and call out corruption or report instances they believe are corrupt practices.

“This act of sanctioning is an ongoing activity not just here in Liberia, but across the world. The United States government under the Biden administration is trying to implement, so you don’t halt the activity because it’s Christmas or election,” he said.

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