Home Governance Uphold Farmington Pact …US Ambassador McCarthy Challenges Liberian Politicians Ahead of October Polls

Uphold Farmington Pact …US Ambassador McCarthy Challenges Liberian Politicians Ahead of October Polls

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By: H. Richard Fallah

MONROVIA: United States Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Michael McCarthy, has challenged Liberia’s political parties that recently signed the Farmington River Declaration to respect the sanctity of said agreement that seeks to promote non-violent, free, fair, transparent and credible Presidential and Legislative elections in Liberia comes 10, October, 2023.
“To the political leaders: if your signatures mean anything, we depend on your honor to uphold those high standards invoked in the Declaration,” the American Diplomat told a recent media roundtable held at the US Embassy in Mamba Point, Monrovia.

The US diplomat noted that the true test of the political party leaders’ commitment to the Farmington River Pact will be the execution of free, fair, transparent, and peaceful election process over the next 19 weeks.
While commending the political party leaders, civil society organizers, and international dignitaries on the signing of the Farmington River Declaration, he stressed that “These signatories made a clear commitment to prevent violence, cooperate with law enforcement agencies, expand voter education, avoid inflammatory language and disinformation, and accept the official election results, among many other elements.”
He made it clear that the United States expects all parties to avoid a repeat of the nonsense witnessed two weeks ago with the political disruption of a church service.
Ambassador McCarthy: “To the political leaders: if your signatures mean anything, we depend on your honor to uphold those high standards invoked in the Declaration.”
On April 4, 2023, at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi, Liberia, twenty (27) political parties signed the Farmington Declaration 2023, an enhanced and comprehensive declaration designed to ensure a nonviolent electoral process.
The signing ceremony was organized under the auspices of Liberia`s National Elections Commission (NEC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the United Nations (UN).
President George Manneh Weah, former vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings among several other party leaders, attended the ceremony and signed as political leaders and stander bearers of their respective parties.
Representatives from the government, civil society groups, the diplomatic community and international organizations were also present at the high-level event.
The UN and ECOWAS signed the agreement as witnesses.

On behalf of the United Nations, Ms. Giovanie Biha, deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and acting head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), signed the agreement, while Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, signed on behalf of ECOWAS.
The Farmington Peace Pledge obliges signatories and their supporters to uphold the principles of peaceful elections and respect for rule of law.

The UN, ECOWAS, and international partners continue to reiterate the importance and centrality of peaceful elections to Liberia’s stability and prosperity.

In a related development, the US diplomat has encouraged media institutions and integrity organizations to keep politicians of all parties accountable to said important Declaration commitments, rather than simply reporting on the “horse race.”
US Ambassador: “Ask politicians the tough questions about their platforms and records, shed light on policy inconsistencies, and remind the public what they stand to gain or lose in the lead up to October.”
“It is not easy, but your efforts to hold politicians and government officials accountable are critical to upholding Liberia’s democracy, and I salute you for it,” he cautioned.
The tough-talking US Ambassador further announced that his term as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, is scheduled to end when he departs Monrovia mid-July, 2023.
“Just as previous U.S. Ambassadors before me, I have served the full term of my presidential appointment in Liberia, proudly representing President Biden and the United States people to the best of my ability,” he told the media gathering.
Ambassador McCarthy disclosed that after his transition from the Embassy, Deputy Chief of Mission Joel Maybury will serve as Chargé d’Affaires until the arrival of his replacement Catherine Rodriguez, as they await Senate confirmation of the next US ambassador to Liberia.
“We are fortunate to have a deep bench of senior officers who are fully capable of running our operations in Liberia for as long as it takes, offering a smooth transition and maintaining those special bonds we have always treasured between Liberia and the United States,” He said.
The Ambassador has always been critical and very concerned about addressing the basic healthcare and educational needs of Liberians, particularly the vast majority of the country’s poor.

On March 14, 2023, Ambassador McCarthy strongly condemned violence that occurred at the University of Liberia’s Capitol Hill campus, which left several persons injured and normal learning activities disrupted.

The U.S ambassador during a press roundtable discussion with State Department’s Global Anti-Corruption Coordinator Richard Nephew and USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force Executive Director Shannon Green on March 14, 2023, stressed that violence of any kind has no place in a democratic society.

He said Violence does nothing but undercuts one`s own credibility and will only take a country backwards.

Ambassador McCarthy added then, that disagreements and competing visions for the country should be solved through peaceful debate and at the ballot box, not on the street.

“I am speaking directly to politicians, student groups, and citizens across the country when I say that violence of any kind has no place in a democratic society,” he noted.

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