Weah pleads for non-violent elections
By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
President George Manneh Weah has pleaded with political actors to reject all acts of electoral violence as the country heads to a crucial presidential and legislative election this October.
He is seeking a second six years term in office against several opposition presidential hopefuls including former Liberian Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and ex-Coca-Cola Executive Alexander B. Cummings.
Mr. Weah’s appeal came Tuesday, 4 April 2023 when 27 political parties and election stakeholders signed the Farmington River Declaration in Margibi County.
Signed at the Farmington Hotel, the instrument commits signatories to a peaceful, non-violent, free, and fair election in the Country.
President Weah suggested that the country is in a defining moment and that its peace, democracy, and stability must be preserved.
He believes that the pending election presents an opportunity for the country to strengthen a deepening political culture that respects freedom, justice, equality, and human rights.
President Weah argued that since his ascendancy to the presidency in 2018, the National Elections Commission has successfully conducted several by-elections.
Besides, he said the electoral house has conducted a referendum that, saying the election and referendum were recognized by all stakeholders as peaceful, free, fair, and transparent.
He said it is incumbent upon all political stakeholders to recognize the centrality of peace during these elections and work collectively to deliver “a credible, inclusive, and peaceful process.”
He reminded political leaders that Liberia is a post-conflict success story that must continue on the path of democracy, peace, and security.
President Weah described the signing of the Farmington Declaration as another milestone achievement that must be admired and celebrated.
“It marks a symbolic celebration of 20 years of uninterrupted peace since the signing of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2003,” said Mr. Weah.
“We have now enjoyed five years of sustained and unbroken peace since I assumed the Office of President of Liberia on January 22, 2018.”
He said the “transformation is stark,” adding that “Liberia is now contributing troops as part of United Nations peacekeeping forces in several countries in Africa, instead of requiring peacekeepers to maintain peace in our country.”
President Weah indicated that Liberians, for most of the years, worked positively to consolidate the peace, stressing that they must reject and condemn those who would seek to take the country back to the dark days.
“I am proud of what we have achieved as a nation, and equally happy that we have maximized the external support we have received on our journey to this level,” he said.
According to him, it would be a manifestation of the strengthening and showcasing of Liberia’s democratic credentials, resilience, and relentless commitment to upholding the tenets of democracy if the upcoming elections were peacefully and credibly held.
He commended political leaders and their respective political parties for signing the second Farmington River Declaration.
President Weah insisted that the peaceful conduct of the election will elevate Liberia’s standard as a democratic nation.
“With a guaranteed and successful democratic exercise, we will further demonstrate our readiness for sustained peace, security, stability, and development,” he said further.
“This signing is a gesture which further indicates that we political leaders are sending a strong signal to our partisans, supporters, well-wishers, and followers, and also to the entire world,” he said.
He said it demonstrates their unflinching commitment and preparedness to conduct peaceful, free, fair, transparent, inclusive, and credible democratic elections on 10 October this year.
He added that it demonstrates their preparedness to accept the will of the Liberian People as will be expressed through the ballot box.
At least 27 out of 31 political parties signed the instrument. The ceremony was organized under the auspices of Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the United Nations (UN).
The UN and ECOWAS signed the agreement as witnesses. On behalf of the United Nations, Ms. Giovanie Biha, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Acting Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) signed the agreement. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, signed on behalf of ECOWAS.
George Weah, start by bringing Jeff Koijee to justice. He has been accused of so many violent incidents, yet he’s a free man. Start with Acarous Gray who march thugs right past LNP Headquarter and injured people on UL campus. Do your job or wait for Oct 2023, to give back our office. You my uncle but you disgrace our family name. Complete disgrace to our family name. You need to bow your head in shame, George Weah.