Ellen Hails Weah & Boakai On Elections -Says Liberia’s Democracy Consolidated -Denies Making Elections-Related Comments
MONROVIA: While it is true that is it is only one person who has won the 2023 presidential elections, commendations are pouring out of national and international stakeholders directed at all two major rivals – President George Manneh Weah and former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai. Ambassador Boakai is being congratulated for supposedly winning the elections, while President Weah is at the same time hailed for not only organizing the elections largely described to be free and fair, but also doing the unusual thing of conceding defeat being an incumbent president. The latest commendations have come from the woman who made history years ago for being the first democratically elected female president of Liberia and for turning over power smoothly to another elected president for the first time in over seventy years. The Analyst reports.
Apparently excited about the peaceful conclusion of the 2023 democratic process, which culminated in the emergence of the opposition ahead of the incumbent leadership, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has congratulated the key contenders in the elections—President George Manneh Weah and Unity Party Standard Bearer Joseph Boakai.
The former Liberian president, the first democratically elected female president of Liberia and Africa, commended President George Manneh Weah for his historic concession speech of last Friday accepting the outcome of the runoff and thanking victorious Joseph Boakai on his victory.
Madam Sirleaf urged Liberians to work for the unity and development of the country.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Analyst Newspaper last evening at her residence upon her arrival from Kigali, Rwanda, where she had gone to be honored along with other women leaders in Africa by The Time Magazine, Madam Sirleaf hailed Liberians for their resilience and determination to go through the democratic process in a peaceful and orderly manner.
She called on Liberians to keep up the spirit of unity as a way of moving the country forward.
She said though she was away for a week when the election took place, she was glad that President Weah did the honorable thing of conceding defeat to Ambassador Boakai, something she noted is expedient and necessary.
Rumors about Elections-related Statement
Madam Sirleaf also used the interview with The Analyst to disperse rumors quoting her as asking the NEC to ignore President Weah’s concession of defeat and urging the NEC for a recount.
“I just arrived and people have been asking ‘have you made a statement?’ I was not home. I just came from Kigali. I spent the week in Kigali in a meeting with Time Magazine where I was honored among some other African women. But while I was in Kigali, I congratulated Vice President Boakai for his victory. I thanked President Weah for his remarkable concession statement.”
She denied making the negative statement about the outcome of the election making rounds in the country and urged those trading in the lies to desist from such act because it is intended to cause trouble in the country.
She said it was necessary to make the clarifications about her purported statement because people have been making enquiries if she made any statement since the conclusion of the runoff election which effectively ended the entire electoral process.
“I am back home; I want people to be very clear that I am above that cheap Liberian politics,” the former Liberian leader said.
“I am now in a global setting. My main occupation now is to support women to get higher positions of leadership in public service because I believe women will make strong leaders in all of our countries,” Madam Sirleaf said.
She urged those who are in the habit of lying and causing trouble in the country to stop immediately and “allow this nation to heal, to reconcile, and to get on the course of development”.
Madam Sirleaf added: “Please do not distract us from nation building efforts that we all are responsible for as good citizens. I will be making a formal statement along these lines in a couple of days. But I just want people to know about the lies and rumors that are being spread falsely by these people because I am always out of the country and people tell a lot of lies about me on things that they don’t know. So I want this appeal to go out there: please Liberians, let us concentrate on building our country.”
Responding to a question why she was making the clarification, Madam Sirleaf Johnson said she was making the statement publicly so as to be proactive because there are a lot of people in the country who are bent on spreading lies and rumors with the sole aim of character deformation.
“So, prevention is better than cure. Let me prevent anything by saying that I will be coming up with a statement in a few days that will talk about nation building, talk about the road to democracy. I will do that,” she stressed.
Madam Sirleaf has never been idle in her post-presidential life, as she has been deeply involved with gender equality, women empowerment-related issues in Africa.
She has also been actively involved in seeking to maintain the peace the country has enjoyed since the end of the brutal civil war which culminated in her election in 2005.
In 2018, she handed over power to President George Manneh Weah who had won the presidency in 2017 ahead of the then Vice President Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai in an orderly manner witnessed by hundreds of people including foreign guests.