PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2011 Selected
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N°: 194/2011
10 October 2011 [MONROVIA]

PRESIDENT GBEHO APPEALS FOR PEACEFUL, CREDIBLE ELECTIONS IN LIBERIA

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency James Victor Gbeho, has appealed for peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in Liberia. Addressing a world press conference in Monrovia on the eve of Liberia’s 11th October 2011 presidential and legislative elections, he urged the citizens to allow the electoral process to provide the freedom and equal opportunity under the law for all contestants. “Any act of violence or unwarranted manipulation of the electoral process can only jeopardize the democratic intentions of the state and its citizens and will not serve the general interest and the well-being of Liberia and our region”, the President affirmed. He appealed to the “high sense of responsibility and patriotism of all Liberians to ensure that the 11th October 2011 elections are not only peaceful, but also free, fair, credible and transparent”. “We must all understand that the eyes of the whole world are on Liberia and ECOWAS and we should not let ourselves down”, President Gbeho noted, adding that candidates and their supporters “must therefore desist from any actions or utterances that could inflame passions or lead to the breach of the peace”. He said the conduct of candidates and supporters must at all times be above reproach, with everyone “willing to accept the result of the polls in compliance with the provisions of the code of conduct for political parties in Liberia”. President Gbeho also expressed ECOWAS’ appreciation and gratitude to the United Nations, through its Office in West Africa (UNOWA), particularly the Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), as well as all other international organizations and partners for their support of the electoral process and the strengthening of democracy and sustainable development in Liberia. The ECOWAS Commission’s President reiterated the same appeal for a peaceful election to all stakeholders during a courtesy visit on Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, which was attended by the ECOWAS Special Envoy to Liberia, General Seth Obeng, and Professor Attahiru Jega, Head of the 150- member ECOWAS Election Observation Mission deployed to Liberia. In her response, President Johnson-Sirleaf, one of the 16 candidates contesting for the presidency, assured that she and her Unity Party would “respect the results of the elections whatever they are”. “Liberia is our country and at the end of the day whoever wins, we must all rally round to support the entrenchment of democracy and for our country to move forward”, she added. As part of continuing dialogue and engagement with Liberia’s political leaders, the ECOWAS Commission’s President also met with Mr. Charles Brunskine, presidential candidate of the opposition Liberty Party. The meeting was also attended by Professor Jega, who later met separately with two other opposition presidential candidates, Mr. Winston Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and Senator Yormie Johnson of the National Union for Democratic Programme (NUDP).


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