The United States Department of State says the U.S. Government does not support any political party or candidate for the October elections in Liberia. “We do not support any particular candidate or party, rather we support a fair and transparent process and stand ready to work with whoever is fairly elected,” says an official of the U.S. State Department.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Regional Affairs and West Africa, Mr. Robert K. Scott says the United States supports free, fair and peaceful elections so that all Liberian voters can freely elect their new leaders, according to a dispatch from the Embassy of Liberia in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Scott spoke at the diplomatic reception commemorating Liberia’s 170th independence anniversary held at the Liberian Embassy in Washington, D.C. recently.
Liberians go to the polls on October 10 to elect a new President and members of the House of Representatives that would witness the first peaceful transition here after a prolonged civil crisis that lasted nearly 15 years.
The U. S. State Department official stresses that the October 2017 presidential and representative elections will mark a historic moment in Liberia, adding that Liberians will have the great opportunity to see the peaceful transition of power from one living, sitting president to another, both elected by the people.
Mr. Scott continues that Liberia has made great progress in the face of challenging situations, some 14 years after the civil war and a few years out from the Ebola crisis, noting that the U.S. fully invested in Liberia’s success and wants Liberia’s democracy to thrive.
Recounting areas of U.S. support to the country, he explains that the United States and Liberia signed a US$257 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in 2015, and the Liberian Government, he observes, has made extensive progress in implementing the compact, which has focused on rehabilitating the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric project and support road maintenance infrastructure.
He says America’s commitment to Liberia’s success, and Africa’s broader success, is shown by the U.S. support for initiatives such as the Young African Leaders Initiative, adding that Africa’s youth are its single greatest resource and they hold huge potential.
Mr. Scott further emphasizes that as a steadfast and longtime friend of Liberia, the United States and the American people remain committed to partnering with the Liberian people to create a healthy, peaceful, and democratic future for Liberia.
Earlier, the Charge’ d’Affaires at the Embassy of Liberia in the U.S., Mr. Jeff Gongoer Dowana, recounted that since the end of the civil crisis, Liberia has enjoyed nearly 14 years of uninterrupted peace and has been on a trajectory of progress and development.
Mr. Dowana underscores U.S.-Liberia relationship, dating back to Liberia’s founding in the early 1800s. As a manifestation of the significance of the relationship between both countries, he notes that Liberia and the United States reaffirmed their friendship in a joint statement of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue, held at the U.S. State Department in Washington on January 10, 2017.
“Through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the United States Government has provided strong support for the massive rehabilitation of Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant, which is a milestone in the Liberian Government’s effort to make Liberia electricity efficient,” he says.
Charge’ d’Affaires Dowana also indicates that in alignment to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Two, Liberia has strived to achieve food and nutrition security by investing in agriculture, specifically in more sustainable farming systems, encouraging women in farming to ensure gender parity in the sector, and developing farm to market roads.
He lauds the signing of the Farmington Declaration of June 4, 2017 by 20 political parties in Liberia, committing themselves to violence-free elections in October and a peaceful transition to a new government.
Clebrations marking the 170th independence anniversary in Washington, D.C., held under the theme, “Sustaining the Peace,” included a day-long Cultural Extravaganza/Family Day, Intercessory Worship Service, and Diplomatic Reception.
The well-attended Intercessory Service, hosted July 23 by the Association of Liberian Christians Ministers of Washington, D.C., Metro Area, was held at the New Hope Worship Center in Laurel, MD. Apostle Edward Mouphouet, Founder and Pastor, Global Revival Missions Churches, serving as keynote preacher, says change will come about in Liberia when Liberians embrace change. “”If the nation is to change, we have to change,” said Rev. Mouphouet. “We have to change our perspective and how we do thing.”
The July 26, 2017 Diplomatic Reception, held at the residence of the Ambassador, was attended by U.S. and Liberian government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, Liberian community, business and religious leaders, friends of Liberia and well-wishers, the dispatch concludes.