MONROVOA: As the ensuing 2023 general elections reach a crucial stage, the government of Liberia has been urged to ensure that the process leading to election and the outcome should be free, fair and peaceful as well as taking punitive action against those who will want to disrupt the process.
The call was made yesterday, Wednesday, September 6, 2023 by the new appointed Charge d’Affaires at the Embassy of the United States of America near Monrovia when she hosted her maiden edition of a press roundtable.
“Like other countries in the world, your citizens will soon be celebrating your democracy by flocking to the polls to choose your leaders and representatives. It is a solemn responsibility. It is important that the government must ensure that these are fair, free, and peaceful elections, and to hold accountable those that would attempt to disrupt it. Officials must also ensure that the government invests an adequate level of money, personnel, and organizational resources to protect its citizens, candidates, polling stations, and election workers from intimidation or harm.
“The eyes of the world are focused on these elections and how they are managed. The United States, as a longstanding partner of Liberia, along with the international community, has been working closely with the NEC to make sure that all election observers have full access to polling stations during Election Day, as well as access to the vote tallying. The U.S. Embassy through USAID is directly supporting both international and domestic election observer missions, as well as our own mission observing the election process across the country”, she said..
She said the United States is also prepared to assist in efforts to keep these elections free, fair, and peaceful by holding accountable anyone responsible for engaging in activities to undermine the democratic election process in Liberia through additional measures such as sanctions.
She also used the occasion to talk briefly about two very positive experiences which according to her reflect the great partnership between the United States and Liberia.
“First, Peace Corps has returned! Just a few weeks ago, 12 Peace Corps volunteers were sworn in during a ceremony at Monrovia city hall. They will be working in the education and health sectors during their service. This is so exciting because they are the first volunteers to return after the worldwide evacuation of volunteers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Peace Corps has been in Liberia since 1962, the year after Peace Corps began, and it is wonderful to have the newest cohort back, on the ground, and working in their communities. Almost everyone I’ve met in Liberia has mentioned their positive interactions with Peace Corps volunteers. This is a rich history, and one that shows the deep relationship between our countries.
“Second, I had the pleasure to visit Mt. Coffee hydropower plant. This plant, under Liberian management, is a testament to the enduring relationship between our two governments. Mt. Coffee will serve as a reliable green energy resource as well as a gateway to further electrification of the country – a building block for Liberian sustainability”, she said..
She concluded her text by thanking the media “for the work that you do, the essential fact checking, and the writing of stories that highlight issues affecting your communities”.