Jewel Hails Liberia’s Peace Progress -Says “No More War” -Urges 2023 Elections Should be Free, Fair, Transparent

MONROVIA – Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has extolled Liberians and the Government of Liberia for maintaining and sustaining the peace, noting that despite the trials and tribulations that the country and its people experienced for 14 years as a result of the Liberian civil crisis, there will be no more war within and without the country’s borders, basically because Liberians have come to understand that wars do not settle the issues of life, and that the costs of war are too high for any nation and people to bear. She however urged all Liberians, especially the Government, to ensure that the upcoming 2023 elections are free, fair and transparent, so that the will of the voters will be upheld.

Making the profound statement in observance of 19 years of peace in Liberia when she delivered the keynote address at the ceremony marking the 2022 National Kukatornon Peace Festival held at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, VP Taylor said, only the collective efforts of institutions will uphold the tenets of Good Governance, by utilizing all other means at their disposal – “short of war; in line with the rule of law; to discuss burning issues; in order to chart the roadmap for the forward movement of Liberia, in the hope that the Government of Liberia will continue to do its best to uphold the Rule of Law; encourage dialogues with all segments of our society; and continue to work to sustain the Peace.

 Expounding further on the need to maintain the peace that Liberians currently enjoy, VP Taylor cautioned the citizens to be mindful as the country prepares for the 2023 presidential and general election.

“As we celebrate 19 years of Peaceful Coexistence and Democracy; it is important to consider the times and seasons we are in. In 13 months we, as a nation, will go to Presidential and Legislative Elections. In most nations across the world; this period can be a challenging one. It is my prayer that we will exercise the rights given by the Liberian Constitution, to engage this process in a free, fair and transparent manner, so that the will of the voters will be upheld.

“This means that – each part of the puzzle must play their part; according to the Rule of Law. I therefore add my voice to the many who have spoken on this and other matters; by asking all within the three branches of government to exercise their roles and responsibilities in a manner which will ensure the maintenance of the Peace and Security of our Nation; and to our international partners to assist in this process by ensuring that all of their commitments are met; so that Liberia will be able to hold its constitutional elections on time,” VP Taylor stated emphatically,

Madam VP furthered that to achieve the desired goals of maintaining the peace and security of the country, priority must be given to increased women’s political participation, which is a necessary ingredient for inclusion and participation of 50% of the population.

She further underscored the need to ensure that marginalized groupings are fully represented; the need to provide a safe space free from violence during the electoral process; especially for female contestants; the need to ensure the reduction of SGBV across the country; the need to ensure that the electoral process is free, fair and transparent; and the need to ensure that the Government and its partners continue to be engaged with solving the issues of concern and development of our people.

Government and the citizenry, she said, must also prioritize the need during this Bicentennial Celebration to put in measures to include all of Liberia’s tribes and groupings – including the Congos, the Americo Liberian, the Fulas, the Sarpo and any other tribe not included on the list of tribes of Liberia; the need to adjust the words of Liberia’s National Motto that reads: the Love of Liberty Brought us here, to the Love Liberty brought us together.

“And last but never least; let me reiterate that Good governance is a responsibility of all well-meaning Liberians and not just Government alone. Which means that this democratic environment should and must imperatively exclude political maneuvers to remove a constitutionally elected Government; especially when the process to decide the same is ongoing and the opportunities for others to participate in this process is open to all,” Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor cautioned.

VP Taylor also used the occasion to applaud the women of Liberia and those from the sub-region for ensuring that the West Africa subregion remains free from violence and conflict.

“Your roles are more necessary today than before. For with your sheer numbers across our region of being about 50% of the population – you can coordinate and pull your human and capital resources to elect more women to elected offices. We should no longer be women Chairladies who rally support for all male elected positions and complain when they do not fulfill your expectations. It is time for women to support female candidates so we reach the constitutional mandate for equal rights for all. It is then and only then the dynamics of nations in our sub-region will change to reflect the inclusion of all for the peace and development of our nations,” Madam Taylor noted.

“To the Ecowas members States who intervened in the civil crisis at many levels; civil, military and regional engagements which provided spaces for dialogues and compromises.  To our international Partners and friends of Liberia; who have and continue to; bring their resources, both human and material; and who have remained engaged; no matter how difficult the road has been; with the Liberian plan for sustained peace and development. Permit me to, on behalf of H. E. President George Manneh Weah; our government and the peace-loving people of Liberia to say from the bottom of my heart, we thank you,” VP Taylor further enjoined.

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