December 9, 2023

Ex-Nigerian president canvases peaceful conduct ahead of Liberia run-off election 

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has again called on Liberians to give peace a chance to prevail ahead of the presidential run-off election in the country.

Jonathan, who is leading the West Africa Elders Forum (WAEF) Election Mission to Liberia, arrived in Monrovia with other leaders on Sunday as the country gets set for the last leg of the poll.

In an arrival statement issued in Monrovia, WAEF appealed to Liberians to conduct themselves peacefully and shun acts of violence during this second round of voting to avoid a potential breakdown of law and order in the country.

The joint statement signed by Messrs Jonathan and former Burkina Faso Prime Minister and one-time President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Kadre Ouedraogo also praised Liberians for the peaceful conduct of the first round of elections on 10 October and wished the country another smooth outing as citizens prepare to vote in Tuesday’s run-off poll.

The statement said further: “The mission is committed to supporting and encouraging Liberians to conduct themselves peacefully and eschew violence during this second round of voting to ensure that there is no break-down of law and order in the country.

“It is reassuring to note that in the past two decades, Liberians had demonstrated a high level of patriotism and good citizenship in the exercise of their civic responsibilities during elections, especially with the peaceful conduct and large turnout of voters during the October 10, 2015, general elections.

It is in light of this that WAEF commended the candidates in the last October 10, 2023 elections for respecting the Farmington River Peace Declaration which resulted in the peaceful outcome of the last exercise.

“We will continue to point out that Liberia occupies a pride of place in the sub-region because of its exemplary democratic credentials, having maintained an enviable track of peaceful elections and seamless transitions in the last two decades. We note that it is a record worth keeping for which we encourage Liberians to strive to maintain peace, law and order during the election.

“The Forum which has been engaging with Liberian stakeholders since July when it first deployed a fact-finding mission to Monrovia wishes Liberians a successful outcome of the 2023 elections and will remain engaged with the country as a dependable ally in the development process, in line with its objective of contributing to the consolidation of democracy and good governance in the West African sub-region.”

President George Weah and his main opponent, Joseph Boakai, will face each other in a run-off election as the two candidates failed to secure majority votes after the October 10 Presidential democratic exercise.

The incumbent leader, Mr. Weah, got 43.83% of the vote, while Mr. Boakai, a former vice president of Liberia, received 43.44%.

The October 10 election was the closest presidential race in the history of the West African country after a bloody civil war that ended about two decades ago.

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