By Lewis S. Teh
The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has urged its partisans and supporters to be calm, saying it is not deterred by preliminary election results being announced after Tuesday’s polls.
During a press conference on Wednesday, 11 October 2023, the CDC urged its supporters not to be frightened by what it claimed was disinformation from the public.
The National Elections Commission began announcing preliminary election results Wednesday evening in which opposition leader Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai had a lead.
Boakai, the former ruling Unity Party (UP) presidential candidate, is battling incumbent President George Manneh Weah of the CDC for the presidency.
Both men wrestled for the nation’s highest office in the 2017 polls, but Mr. Weah won the run-off as an opposition candidate at the time.
Ahead of the NEC’s official preliminary results, private and public-owned media houses began announcing unofficial results from NEC voting precincts across several counties.
Up to Wednesday evening, the country remained calm as voters eagerly waited to hear from the electoral house about the outcome of the polls.
Over 2.4m Liberians were qualified by the NEC to vote in the 2023 presidential and legislative elections. There were 20 presidential candidates.
Addressing a press conference Wednesday, Monrovia Mayor and CDC Secretary General Jefferson Koijee said the CDC remains confident of winning the elections.
“We want you our partisans to remain calm and peaceful; don’t listen to the … disinformation that [is] being spewed in the public, we are confident about these elections,” said Mr. Koijee.
“We ask you to assemble at the national headquarters where our national campaign manager and party chairman will brief you on happening in the country,” he added.
Koijee stated that if CDCians keep the peace, they will be the beneficiaries, or they will become the victims if they do not keep the peace.
To maintain the peace, he said the Joint Security must act fast, alleging that a media house could cause chaos in the country by spreading
Koijee provided no evidence about the alleged disinformation being spread. Meanwhile, local media houses have been reporting unofficial election results based on what they say is published at voting precincts by assigned NEC workers.
He noted that to protect the peace of Liberia, potential voters have made their decision, and the CDC is hoping that the police will be on their alert to curtail alleged misinformation and disinformation.
“We will not sit and watch as spectators while people are trying to plunge this country into chaos,” Koijee further said.
He specifically asked the police and the Ministry of Justice to halt alleged misinformation on private media, Spoon Network. But Koijee did not explain what constituted the misinformation being spread by Spoon Network.
Meanwhile, Koijee said the press conference was intended to extoll citizens for the huge turnout in the just-ended election.
“We call on our young people, specifically the younger ones, to remain calm. Don’t be carried away by the fake news in the public,” Koijee lamented.
He insisted that he was confident that the CDC would win the elections.
Mr. Koijee said he was not frustrated over the election results coming from Nimba and Lofa Counties, saying they didn’t hinder any form of development in those counties.
He maintained that President George Manneh Weah will continue to undertake development in those counties despite the results that are coming out from there.
According to him, no results will deter President Weah from halting his developmental initiatives in any of the fifteen counties.
President Weah is seeking re-election against 19 rivals. His main rival is the former Liberian Vice President, Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the Unity Party (UP).
Weah has been heavily criticized here for inflicting suffering on Liberians, insecurity, economic hardship, and the frequent importation of drugs by individuals, among others.
In another development, Mr. Koijee said the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) has officially begun full operation in catering to the welfare of the city.
“As you may be aware, the city has been facing a series of daunting challenges in terms of waste, our landfill station is filled, and we are working tirelessly to ensure that can address the situation to make the city clean and green,” he said.