A Letter to Liberia: I do not believe you are ready for Elections

By Jacob Seyon Kwateh
Contributing Writer

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
September 14, 2017


Dear Liberia:

I have been deeply moved to write you this letter concerning the upcoming elections in Liberia. And, with love and grave concern, I am persuaded to write you this letter letting you know that I do not believe that you are ready for elections this October, 2017. I would argue there are some unresolved and lingering issues and if not addressed adequately, these issues have the potential to derail our movement toward sustainability and hinder our ability to develop our human resources and infrastructure.

Here are some examples of the issues that I believe need to be resolved in order to truly conduct free and fair democratic and transparent elections: (A). Who is and who is not a Liberian citizen (dual citizenship)? (B.) The code of conduct and its application. (C.) The ten years residence clause, and above all (D.) The establishment of a war crimes court (i.e. the institution of the rule of law).

I am convinced that these issues, among other things are critical to the rebuilding effort and they have challenged our moral compass as a nation capable of holding itself accountable through the institution and application of its Constitution. I know this letter may not be suitable and convenient to some, particularly those who might think it is too late. Some of you may argue that it is your time to win the presidency so there is no need to postpone the upcoming elections. For others, you might think this letter could stop your “chopping” (translated in the Liberian vernacular means a time to steal and loot with impunity). Some of you may outright condemn the letter without seizing the liberty to even read and comprehend it. Some may even argue that Liberia does not want or need another interim government. Yet, others might take the time to read the letter and try to analyze the letter for its substance. Nonetheless, whatever side you find yourself on this letter, it is my sincere hope that this letter creates the space for a constructive dialogue in moving our country (Liberia) forward in this 21st Century.

The decision to write you this letter did not come easily. I asked myself several questions among which are: Is it timely to write this letter? Why this letter now?  Should I just sit quietly and let the elections go ahead without taking a stance since I am not supporting anyone in the race? Or, why bother myself when I don’t live in Liberia? And so forth. On the other hand, I find the courage to pose my own questions to my readers: Is Liberia a country? Should not Liberia be governed by the rule of law (Constitution)? Should not those who running for public office uphold the laws of Liberia and demonstrate how they will conduct themselves when they occupy public office? Can anyone honestly say that the current Elections Commission and the Supreme Court of Liberia appropriately addressed the issues listed in this letter?  

Having contemplated over these questions, something keeps stirring within my soul reminding me of my unconventional and moral stance on sensitive and hot topic issues, that this too is the right thing to do for the love of my country. The more I ponder, I could not help but think of the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who reminded us that “there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor for expediency, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”

I have to tell you, being true to my conscious and as we say in Liberia, “Better late than never,” It is never too late to do the right thing. This is the right thing to do. Let us postpone the 2017 Elections in Liberia and convene a national conference to discuss an interim government or trusteeship that could better serve Liberia for three (3) years and prepare the country for a more democratic and transparent elections. In furtherance of my position, here are some recommendations I would like to advance and if carefully implemented, could better serve Liberia and prepare it to meet the preponderance challenges of nation building ahead:

  1. Convene a national conference (All Liberians and Friends of Liberia) By November, 2017
  2. Discuss the possibility of a three-year interim government or trusteeship rule
  3. The conference should decide on a strict mandate to use as a guide to the interim government or trusteeship in implementing the following:


  1. National Referendum of the Liberian Constitution
  2. Settle the issue of dual citizenship (opting for Dual Citizenship for ALL –i.e. white, black, Indians, Africans, Lebanese, etc.)
  3. Overhaul the justice system and strengthen the rule of law
  4. Establish a war crimes tribunal
  5. Implement the TRC recommendations
  1. Prepare for General and Presidential Elections by October, 2020.


I know this is not easy and sometimes, to do the right thing is not easy either. But, it always takes courage and the fear of God to do the right thing. Hence, let us do the right thing for our country (Liberia) by postponing the upcoming elections and better prepare our country to take the moral high ground as we move forward in ending impunity and embracing the rule of law.

May God bless our country (Liberia) and open the eyes of our people to His truth. With much love, I remain a Liberian. Thank you!

Sincerely yours,

Jacob Seyon Kwateh
Concerned Liberian


About the Author: Jacob Seyon Kwateh is a Liberian and he holds a Master Degree (MA) in Human Services from Capella University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science and Global Studies (International Relations) from the University of Minnesota. He is the Secretary General of the Movement of Liberians Against Corruption (MOLAC) and also the CEO and founder of Seyon’s Consulting Services, LLC providing political and marketing consultancy. He is a leader in the Local Liberian community in Minnesota. You can contact Jacob at (612)-730-1373 or hajsk4@gmail.com.


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