Jonathan, West African Elders return to Liberia for presidential run-off
Former President Goodluck Jonathan
Published By: Kazeem Ugbodaga
The West Africa Elders Forum (WAEF) Election Mission to Liberia led by former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, arrived in Monrovia on Sunday ahead of the country’s run-off presidential election scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
Jonathan is accompanied on the mission by former Burkina Faso Prime Minister and one-time President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Kadre Ouedraogo as well as staff of the WAEF secretariat.
The team members will be on ground during the electoral process to lend their expertise as former sub-regional leaders to support the peaceful conduct of the elections and the strengthening of the country’s democracy.
In an arrival statement issued in Monrovia on Sunday evening, WAEF urged Liberians to conduct themselves peacefully and eschew violence during this second round of voting to avoid likely break down of law and order in the country.
The statement jointly signed by Jonathan and Ouedraogo also commended Liberians for the peaceful conduct of the October 10, 2023 first round of elections and wished the country another successful outing as the citizens get ready to vote in Tuesday’s run-off election.
Advising politicians to be patriotic and law abiding, WAEF noted that nobody’s personal ambition should be placed above the collective interest of the country.
It further called on the two presidential candidates and their followers in Tuesday’s run-off elections to act in line with the Farmington River Pact to ensure that Liberia remains peaceful during and after the scheduled second round of Presidential election.
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The Mission also charged the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the security authorities to carry out their mandate in accordance with the electoral laws of the land in a manner that delivers credible elections and renews the hope, trust and confidence of the Liberian people on the nation’s democracy.
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 the 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.”
The run-off is between incumbent President George Weah and opposition leader Joseph Boakai, a fallout of the October 12 election, which could not produce an outright winner.