MONROVIA: The National Campaign Management Team of Julius Kanubah and Beatrice Sieh has said that their colleagues within the Press Union of Liberia whom they opposed during the disputed PUL elections need to learn from the conduct of the 2023 general elections that integrity matters for legitimacy of electoral outcomes, something they said the leadership of Charles Coffey failed to ensure thereby undermining the legitimacy and democratic stability of the union that led to the ongoing conflict.
In a press statement issued by the group yesterday and signed by its national chairman Raymond K. Zarbay, with reference to the just concluded general elections it believes that without electoral integrity it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, for incumbent President George Manneh Weah to gracefully concede defeat hours before the final results of the November 14, 2023 presidential run-off election were announced by the National Elections Commission.
“Moreover, electoral integrity ensured that the opposition did not do anything to undermine the legitimacy of the electoral outcome and democratic stability of Liberia in the wake of a provocative campaign statement by then opposition leader and now President–Elect Joseph Boakai that “if the elections are stolen by the ruling party, it would be the end of Liberia.
“The Campaign Team of Kanubah–Sieh views the integrity demonstrated in the processes leading to the conduct of the 2023 elections as a turning point and shining example that is seriously worth emulating in the Press Union of Liberia, which has a troubled history of electoral fraud in the last four years”, the release said..
Drawing a parallel between the two elections, Team Kanubah-Sieh said on two occasions, the PUL erstwhile incumbent leadership of Charles Coffey, Daniel Nyakonah, and lately with Musa Kenneh and Akoi Baysah failed to ensure a credible electoral process, thereby undermining the legitimacy and democratic stability of the Union, leading to the ongoing conflict.
“The Coffey–Nyakonah former leadership is notorious for acts of electoral fraud through the pilling up of the PUL Membership Register with ineligible Liberian journalists and non-journalists in a bid to steal elections and entrench themselves in the PUL leadership despite extremely poor performances”, the release said.
The release further said as the people of Liberia have shown the PUL how to conduct and ensure a democratically peaceful and credible electoral process based on integrity, Team Kanubah–Sieh extended congratulations to President-Elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai and his Unity Party for the credible victory; and commended President George Weah as political leader of the Coalition for Democratic Change for gracefulness in defeat
In similar vein, the group also commended the National Elections Commission(NEC) for properly managing the electoral process and accounting for the votes of the Liberian people, the international partners such as the US Government, African Union, ECOWAS, and European Union for supporting democracy and electoral integrity in Liberia as well as the Local civil society institutions and organizations for their keen role in ensuring the credibility of the election process.
“The Kanubah–Sieh Campaign Team emphasizes that it remains committed to pursuing the rule of law to ensure a democratic, legitimate elected leadership at the PUL as the best path to reconciliation rather than endorsing the continuation of fraud by individuals who chose to disregard the PUL Constitution and the Majority Membership by holding midnight election based on a fraudulent membership register”, the release concluded.