Towards Elections 2005


The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 22, 2004

For sometime now, there have been concerns in certain quarters about the possibility of holding the 2005 general and presidential elections in accordance with the comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). These persons do not see the possibility of the exercise being held as scheduled by the CPA, basing their concerns on claims that the necessary enabling environment would not exist then, for the elections.

However, others including ECOWAS have maintained the elections will be as scheduled and have therefore called on Liberians to do everything to ensure that the exercise takes place as planned.

Likewise, Unity Party’s presidential hopeful, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, last week said that the election must be held as scheduled. She stressed that the elections need to be held as scheduled per the CPA, because the present political dispensation which is a power-sharing arrangement is somehow complicated, and the only way to get a strong structural change to move the country forward, is to have a government that has the mandate of the people.

Speaking in an exclusive interview over the weekend at her Congo Town residence, Mrs. Sirleaf said although the time is short and there are many conditions including constitutional provisions that will be difficult to be met, she emphasized, that everything must be done to have the elections on schedule to have a government that will have the will of the people to move the country forward.

Like many who continue to insist on the holding of elections as planned, we strongly believe that the elections as stipulated in the CPA should go ahead to produce the choice of the people who will be accountable to the electorates unlike the present arrangement drawn for former warring factions.

This is time that Liberians stop complaining and work towards the elections by ensuring that the necessary conditions are created for its smooth holding. For too long, Liberians have sat on the fence and expect people from outside to perform miracles. ECOWAS has told Liberians that the election is a Liberian affair, therefore, it behooves Liberians, especially all stakeholders
to ensure that all is done for the holding of the exercise.

The United Nations and the European Union as well as the United States are all helping us to move from war to peace. As such, we as a nation and people should complement their efforts to move from war to peace through the holding of elections next year. Stakeholders should be discussing issues relative to the successful holding of the elections.

Against this background, we were happy with the holding of a two-day consultative meeting by the National Elections Commission (NEC). These are the kinds of activities we want interested parties and stakeholders should get involved in for the elections. The elections are crucial to moving the country forward.

More importantly, all Liberians should work with UNMIL for the success of the ongoing DDRR, which is a prelude to a successful electoral process. This is the time to work, and not to complain; this is the time to be optimistic and not pessimistic. Let all of us work with the international community to make Liberia an arms-free society and hold elections to democratically elect our leaders to move the country from backwaters to prosperity.

Hence, let all of us work towards a successful elections.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.