Liberia: The Integrity of an Election Depends on All Participants

... A word from T.Q. Harris

As WE THE PEOPLE demand that politicians accept drastic changes particularly to the 2023 election for the greater good, there must also be similar demands imposed on each and every citizen of voting age to ensure that the entire process is transparent. Because the outcome of elections invariably affects us all.

No patriotic Liberian who desires a better future can afford to be a bystander, spectator and, or an observer. We all must get involved and not tolerate practices that have rendered past elections futile.

For the 2023 election, WE THE PEOPLE shall impose upon ourselves the collective responsibility to enforce the Elections Law by preventing the practice of “Voters Trucking” throughout Liberia. This criminal act by candidates who transport large numbers of voters into their constituency to register, and again transport them back on election day to vote in their favor must cease.

It is not only illegal and unethical but also damaging to the election process. The majority of the people who are trucked do not have any connection with the constituency and obviously are not residents. They are paid for services rendered.

We must discourage friends and neighbors from being used and abused by unethical politicians. These wannabe leaders must be rejected, even brought to disgrace for tampering with the sanctity of our elections. They also should be barred from participating in future elections.

Anyone who seeks an elected office by relying on votes from outside his or her constituency must not have any good intentions. In fact, he or she is committing a crime.

To have men and women of integrity as elected leaders of our country, the People must in 2023 give up some familiar habits and beliefs, and the status quo must be challenged. It is highly unlikely that candidates who shower voters with cash, rice, and other tokens will give their heart and soul in the interest of the people after they have been elected. Yet there is no guarantee that a candidate who is financially challenged will for certain become a reliable, dependable, and honest elected official. 

How then do we decide who to vote for? The answer is simple: Vote for persons who in the past have shown concern for your welfare regardless of their economic position. The Bible says: "By their fruit, you shall know them." 

In an election, if you are not familiar with a particular candidate or haven't previously interacted with him or her, seek the opinion of someone who knows the person and guide those who are less informed. You are obliged to assist other voters who may not be knowledgeable on how to select the right candidate. A successful election is assured where there is teamwork.

No amount of generosity or kind words from a candidate during the campaign period will change his or her true character or behavior. Stop settling for immediate gratification at the expense of long-term pain and suffering.

To ensure that the 2023 election marks the beginning of Liberia's Renaissance, politicians and the People, in general, must act unconventionally and do the unthinkable. They must:

  1. Present to the National Elections Commission (NEC) only two (2) competing parties as evidence of political maturity and national unity;
  2. Oppose inclusion of Independent candidates on the 2023 ballot;
  3. Resist all forms of Voters Trucking; and
  4. Vote only for candidates with proven track records of working for the betterment of the country. 

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