Political Impasse Worries Bilateral Partners

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Clockwise: AU Amb. Ibrahim Mbaba Kamara, ECOWAS Amb. Tunde Ajisomo and UNMIL SRSG Farid Zarif

-AU, ECOWAS, UNMIL Express Fears

Liberia international partners are becoming weary that the ongoing political stalemate in the country, if not resolved soon, will affect the much anticipated smooth transition process that should be the first in over seven decades.

In a joint statement issued in Monrovia Friday, the African Union Liaison Office (AULOL), and Office of the ECOWAS Commission as well as the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), called for calm, while at the same time urging for the rule of law to be upheld. The partners are also calling for the expeditious adjudication of the on-going election disputes.

“We are aware of the grievances and concerns of some political parties regarding the 10 October elections and their complaints to seek either a rerun, or amends towards improving the National Elections Commission’s performance in the areas of concern before holding a run-off election.

“But we express concern over the prospects of a significant delay in bringing the litigations to their closure, thereby thwarting completion of the election process before the constitutionally-mandated date of government transition in January 2018,” the statement said.

Without prejudicing the decisions of the National Elections Commission and the Supreme Court, as bodies vested with the legal and constitutional authority to adjudicate such matters, the Partners indicated, “We call upon all parties to deal with the electoral process in a sincere, responsible and professional manner and vigorously work towards early completion of the on-going legal petitions and motions.”

Consideration of these, they indicated, would enable the conclusion of the political rigmarole without undue delay.

The statement was issued just hours after Unity Party’s motion requesting NEC’s hearing officer to compel NEC produce the work sheets of presiding officers of the 5,390 polling places across the country as well as the final voters roll, was denied.

Also, another motion from UP requesting for other political parties who have complaints to intervene, was also denied by the NEC’s hearing officer.

However, the final ruling from the UP’s intervention case expected today, Nov. 13. If the ruling does not go in the ruling party’s favor, there is a chance for appeal to the Board of commissioners and subsequently, if unsuccessful, to the Supreme Court, if the party still feels aggrieved.

This rigmarole between UP and NEC, which might take significant time as it seems, reflects AU, ECOWAS and UNMIL fears that time is is of essence to dispose of the huge log of cases (over 60) of alleged fraud and irregularities—including the landmark Liberty Party’s case that is yet to be looked into Supreme Court ruled that NEC “expeditiously” look into it just over a week ago.

The LP, who case has not been look into requested a rerun of the first round of voters, but to achieve that the party must be able to provide proof of widespread fraud. Currently, the LP has stated what type and means by which the polling workers committed fraud.

The joint statement added that, in pursuit of efforts to facilitate a peaceful transition, AU, ECOWAS and UNMIL reiterated their call on all parties and stakeholders to exercise restraint, uphold the rule of law and conduct all activities with civility and in a non-violent manner, including in their public discourse.

“The conduct of peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections is a prerequisite for democratic consolidation, sustainable peace and development in Liberia,” the joint press statement continued.  “It is our fervent hope, therefore, that all stakeholders will remain productively committed to a historic and peaceful transition and that the collective will and aspirations of the Liberian people will not be compromised for individual ambitions. Allegiance to Liberia must remain the common denominator for sustaining peace and the pursuit of development.”

The AU, ECOWAS and UNMIL statement concluded that that the destiny of Liberia and its peace and development trajectory remain the responsibility of all Liberians, and that the International Community will continue to facilitate any possible assistance that may be deemed necessary to fast-track the country’s development beyond the elections.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. We should not encourage superfluous comments from so called external peace keepers, some of which this incumbent thought she did use to protect her past term, while the 57% was controlled the nation’s destiny instructed her protectorate term of office and paid her no mind to he personal interest for peace sake. EU, ECOWAS, UNMIL, and other solidarity organizations who came during our past conflicts, some still in the nation, we experienced were really sincere in their share for piece or peace, depending on the social, economic, political, etc.. implications. But these organizations, some of which our nation has some commitments yet not compelled to be a part of for our own existence. Some of these nations connected have just gained independence in them 1960s and have yet to determine why Liberia is still self democratically fresh after a civil war. This is because we have seen the actions of the human beings, nations on this planet wanting to control the destiny of other nations. Whilst we process our own election in peace this time, we suggest that you note Liberia’s experience as a people, and that no matter how external affiliates come in to trade, help the peace, observe, spy, connive, scrutinize, our electoral process, we will not panic to let any insert another war. We are calculating the jurisprudence of Liberia’s past and present freedom of choice, in secrecy ourselves. This is Liberia’s secret heritage. We suggest all such organizations wait and see the outcome without making predictions that might cite unbecoming threats. No more fighting. It is only Liberians who can get Liberia straight. It is time for Liberians to exercise their freedom of choice; to vote or abstain. Let the Liberian people know.
    Gone to silence. Do not answer this box.

  2. Thieves and tyrants who become slaves to themselves when they have not earned their own knowledge; while they depend on others to educated them, they become ungrateful to their own heritage when cannot find their own names. Knowledge cannot be stolen. Can you pay my parents back for educating you and your uncivilized parents? This is the question of today’s Liberia. How much western education did your past have and how much do you have now? If you are a Liberian, what is your mother’s name?
    Freedom of choice is the solution. Tell and answer Liberians.
    Gone to 57% in silence. Do Not Reply this box.

  3. Civilized and Educated people should learn how to accept Elections results. CDC in the face of dissatisfactions did in 2005 and 2017.
    Is now Boakai’s term.

  4. I think people who came in and paid with their lives amongst others, to bring sanity back to Liberia are calculating the time line to the “Historic ” transfer of power in 73yrs.
    We should be ashamed, that those stakeholders obtaining late independence, champion peace on our continent not by lips, but paid with their lives, their countries have transformed in greater proportion to our 1847 Independent Nation. Shameless!!

  5. It was obvious that CDC did not make it in 2005 and there weren’t any voting irregularities. This time around as you know, Mr. Koon, fraudsters are slowly coming out of the woods to admit their part. Boakai will not concede anything until a runoff election is held. Finally, when the election is held, someone will win. It may not be sen. Weah.
    However, if Weah wins, he wins!

    Weah is not a monster or a space alien. He is a Liberian. I will support him every inch of the way if he wins. But Weah has the proclivity of bragging. That could do him in big time! Nothing is over until it’s over.

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