The current Supreme Court prohibition halting all electoral activities, pending outcome of the legal battle between the National Elections Commission and the Liberty Party headed by Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine has left many ordinary Liberians wondering whether the runoff presidential poll will be conducted as announced or this country is heading for fresh elections as being requested by the LP.
The high court mandates the NEC to thoroughly probe complaint of fraud and irregularities against results of the 10 October Presidential and Presidential Elections filed by the party through its Standard Bearer Cllr. Brumskine within the 30 days period prescribed by the Constitution of Liberia and come out with findings before a determination is made whether to go for runoff or fresh elections.
What this means in effect is that the democratic process is on hold, for how long only the law will say. Notwithstanding, the tenure of the Sirleaf Administration is virtually at a close. If care is not taken, this country could probably hold new elections or have in place an interim administration to spearhead the democratic process.
A country with a leadership crisis does not promote an investment environment. Therefore, it is no place for any genuine investment and economic development due to the uncertainties that becloud such atmosphere.
Liberians should do everything humanly possible to avoid going this route because it retards national progress and political stability. We’ve been there before and can’t afford to revert there.
But how can a nation with a brutal civil war history, serious illiteracy, huge unemployment and grinding poverty get itself out of this quagmire? It would require deep soul searching and conscious minds of its elders to remind us all where we have sailed from in the past nearly 25 years – 14 years of bloody civil war and 10 years of relative peace backed by democratic governance.
We need to consolidate the gains achieved rather than engaging in anything funny that could slip us back to violence, death and misery. Lest we forget, an entire generation had been denied the opportunity to go to school and acquire an education as a result of senseless violence. Today, this vulnerable generation perambulates our society ready to be used at the whims and caprices of power-greed politicians.
Consolidating the gains made would require upholding the rule of law and tolerating one another irrespective of our tribal, religious and political diversities. In short, amid the political uncertainty and anxiety, leadership is required at all levels.
Strong and sober leadership would keep all Liberians focus on the crucial journey to conducting truly democratic elections and arriving at peaceful political transition to forge ahead.
Finally, we urge all political leaders, including the Standard Bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change Senator George Weah and Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the governing Unity Party, who both have been named by the National Elections Commission to go for the runoff, to exercise restraint and highest degree of leadership, while the law takes its course in these exercises.