President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, through her press secretary Jerolimmek Piah, has termed the ruling Unity Party(UP), as well as the oppositions Liberty Party (LP) and the All Liberian Party (ALP), as “agent provocateurs to undermine Liberia’s democratic process,” following their joint statement alleging “widespread, systematic elections fraud” at the hands of the National Elections Commission (NEC), and with the President’s interference.
Piah said the allegations are completely baseless, and are an unfortunate attempt by the parties to undermine Liberia’s democratic process.
“These allegations fall in the category of ‘hate speech,’ and ‘inciting language,’ which should be condemned and disavowed by all peace-loving Liberians. Therefore, we like to specifically clear that at no time has President Sirleaf interfered in the process, the outcome or the results of the October 10, 2017 presidential and representative elections,” Piah said in a statement released yesterday.
He said that all the meetings, interactions or exchanges between the Office of the President and the NEC were consistent with her constitutional role to ensure that the process was supported, and that such interactions were initiated at the request of the Commission, and were never held secretly, but in the presence of others even on occasion in the presence of international representatives, who are concerned about Liberia’s progress.
Piah said the President has met with the numerous domestic and international observation missions, as well as the various technical advisors working to support the NEC, reminding all parties that they are signatories to the Farmington River Declaration, which obliges all political parties to pursue a peaceful judicial resolution to electoral disputes.
The President, Piah said, has therefore called on all parties to refrain from utterances and actions that have the propensity to incite people and undermine the peace and stability of the country before, during and after the conclusion of the 2017 electoral process.
“We encourage any and all political parties with evidence of any issue relating to the elections to present said evidence through the appropriate legal channels so that those concerns may be adjudicated and, where necessary, our elections process can be improved,” Piah said.
He said in the wake of the development, President Sirleaf remains confident in the ability of the NEC to carry out professional, credible and transparent elections that accurately reflect the will of the Liberian people; and for Liberia’s Judicial Branch to adequately, transparently, fairly and impartially adjudicate any dispute arising thereof.
Piah said the facts must speak for themselves, and not be obscured by rumors, innuendoes, fake news and false narratives.
The Office of the President, meanwhile, reminded all Liberians of the appeal made to them by President Sirleaf on the eve of the October 10 elections and asked that the citizens take it to the heart as the presidential run-off approaches.
Piah added: “Go to the November 7 poll peacefully, respecting every Liberian’s right to vote with dignity and pride. Embrace your neighbor, regardless of their political choice. The peace is for you to protect and preserve. Remember that you are an empowered people; the future of the country is in your hands. No one is entitled to your vote — not because of party, ethnicity, religion or tribal affiliation; and all must respect the outcome of the election.”
The UP, ALP and LP on Sunday said in a joint press statement drew attention to “widespread and systematic fraud, incompetence, inefficiencies and deliberate actions and/or inactions on the part of the NEC that prevented thousands of Liberians from voting” in the October 10 elections.