Home Politics Only Results From NEC Matter …US Asserts; Applauds Voters For Mass Turnout At Polling Places

Only Results From NEC Matter …US Asserts; Applauds Voters For Mass Turnout At Polling Places

by News Manager

By: H. Richard Fallah

MONROVIA: Barely twenty (24) hours after Liberians went to the polls to elect new leaders, the United States of America (USA), through its Embassy accredited near Monrovia has applauded the people of Liberia for their mass participation in the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections.

The US Embassy, in a statement posted on its official facebook page on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, commended the commitment and dedication displayed by the citizens of Liberia in exercising their right to vote and engaging in the electoral process.

Also, while touring voting precincts across Montserrado on Elections Day, the Chargé d’ Affaires of the U.S Embassy in Monrovia, Madame Catherine Rodriguez, expressed her excitement to see Liberians turning out to vote.

“Today, I had the privilege of observing the voting process at polling stations in Monrovia. Remember, the only election results that matter are the ones announced by the National Elections Commission (NEC Liberia),” she noted.

The U.S Embassy further urged all citizens, political parties, and political aspirants to await official results calmly, patiently, and peacefully from the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia.

The United States has been very consistent in concern about the peaceful conduct of the Legislative and Presidential Elections in Liberia in recent months; through its many statements of caution to the government of Liberia, major Political Parties and including ordinary citizens on maintaining the peace in the country.

Delivering a special message to the People of Liberia Friday, October 6, 2023, the US Embassy, through its Chargé d’ Affaires, Catherine Rodriguez, reminded voters that the best way to resolve differences is peacefully through the ballot box.

“I want to talk briefly about the importance of the upcoming elections and why you should all exercise your right to vote freely and peacefully,” she noted.

According to the US diplomat, the United States, as a long-standing partner of Liberia, takes seriously these elections and is committed to help make them free, fair, and peaceful.

Catherine Rodriguez: “That is why, as you are all aware, our Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently announced that we will impose visa restrictions on anyone who undermines Liberia’s democratic process.”

She emphasized that the United States visa restrictions are but one tool that can be used to help hold accountable anyone who might want to disrupt Liberia`s elections.

“But, you, the Liberian people, the voters of this country, have the two most powerful tools in this electoral process: your voice and your vote,” she said.

The US envoy maintained that Liberians should use their voice as one of the most powerful tools in and during an election.

She noted that voters should talk to their friends and family about the future of Liberia and think about where they want to be six (6), twelve (12), and twenty (20) years from now.

Madame Rodriguez encouraged citizens to listen with an open mind to the various candidates and what they have to say and vote for those who have the best plans for their families and the capability to lead Liberia towards the future.

Madame Rodriguez: “Democracy can be messy, and candidates should compete for your vote. That is the way it is supposed to be. However, in every society, there are always a few people who use elections to start rumors, spread misinformation, or engage in even worse things like hate speech and violent rhetoric.”

She recalled that the recent tragic loss of lives in Foya, Lofa County; shows that terrible things can happen when people turn to violence.

“That is why we must always condemn violence,” she maintained.

According to her, the best way to avoid violence is by not amplifying hateful messages, not retweeting, reposting, or publishing on social media and other platforms what the perpetrators of violence say or do.

Moreover, the US Chargé d’ Affaires

Diplomat Rodriguez: “Your vote is your ticket to the future you want for yourself and your family. Don’t squander that very important right by not voting. Go vote and make your voice heard through the ballot box.”

She as at the same time noted that the United States will look to the National Elections Commission as the electoral authority and for the official results of the elections.

“It is important that people get their information from official sources,” she noted.

Also, on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, the United States Secretary of States, Antony Blinken disclosed that the United States will pursue visa restrictions for those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Liberia, including through manipulation or rigging of the electoral process and the use of violence to prevent people from exercising their rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

He further explained that such restriction will target the use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from disseminating their views; or engagement in any other activity designed to improperly influence the outcome of an election.

The US Diplomat also disclosed that those who might be found in any of the above areas mentioned may also along with their family members be subject to these restrictions.

According to secretary Blinken, the visa restriction policy announced will apply to specific individuals, noting that “it is not directed at the Liberian people or the Government of Liberia.”

Secretary Blinken: “The decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the commitment of the United States to support Liberians’ aspirations to have free and fair elections that demonstrate the will of the people and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.”

He, at the same time, noted that the United States remains committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Liberia and around the world.

However, over 2 million Liberian citizens took to the queue across the fifteen (15) Counties in a peaceable manner, cast their ballots for president, all seventy-three (73) members of the House of Representatives and half of the country’s thirty (30) member Senate.

The elections on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, marked the first general elections in Liberia since 2017, when Liberians went to the polls and elected then Senator George Weah as President of Liberia.

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