Amid mixed reactions from Liberians on the recent statement by United States Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Christine Elder, expressing confidence in the integrity of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections and urging all parties to speed up with the runoff process, a civil society organization (CSO) has welcomed the United States’ position, arguing that the October 10 elections did not reflect what most of the aggrieved political parties have stated as systemic fraud and irregularities.
The Institute for Research & Democratic Development (IREDD) that works with independent international organizations to help people in conflict to prevent violence, resolve conflict and promote peaceful societies said, “While we acknowledge that there were isolated irregularities as a result of incompetence, those issues are not sufficient to undermine the fundamental integrity of the electoral process.”
IREDD Executive Director Harold M. Aidoo added: “We, therefore, urge all political parties, particularly the aggrieved parties, to put country above self and personal and political interest and allow the transition process to proceed.”
Liberia not an island
Pointing out to political parties and individuals that Liberia is an independent sovereign nation, Aidoo said Liberia is part of the comity of nations and signatory to several international protocols and instruments which Liberia is bound to uphold.
“Many countries have vested interests in the peace and security of this nation as much as every Liberian does,” Aidoo stated.
More importantly, he said the just ended October 10 elections were largely funded by international partners and donors, therefore for any political party or group of people to think that “we are a sovereign nation and so we can do anything and the comity of nations or the global world would sit idly by and watch, they are sadly mistaken.”
NEC & Supreme Court are advised
IREDD welcomed the urgency with which the NEC has accorded the hearing process so far and further called on the NEC to exercise impartiality, professionalism, and urgency to bring the matter to a close. IREDD also advised the Supreme Court to render its decision based on the supreme interest of the country.
“IREDD believes that Liberia is our common political interest, therefore in the midst of all the legal claims and political bickering, we must never compromise our country’s interest, the security of our state must never be threatened and our emerging democracy must never fail,” he said.
IREDD applauded all the Representative-elects and welcomed them to the 54th Legislature, saying that it will be reaching out to these candidates to discuss how to support them and their staff to enable them to work more effectively for the Liberian people. IREDD also recognized members of the 53rd Legislature who have been reelected to form part of the 54th Legislature and congratulated them for the confidence they continue to enjoy from their respective constituencies.