By: Winston G. Freeman, Columnist, and Radio Talk Show Host
As we wait for the final official results and pronouncements from the National elections commission with high expectations, we should be very careful of some of the unofficial declarations that could undermine the decade plus years of peace we are enjoying.
It is unequivocal that our country has experienced 14yrs of civil crisis from 1989-2003, and now enjoying 14yrs of undisturbed peace from 2003-2017. So, it is expedient to keep sustaining the peace in spite of our political differences. Liberia is the common denominator of all Liberians, let’s prioritize it!
Why I strongly do not embrace election’s flaws and irregularities, unofficial declaration could inflate future post- elections violence. I can’t negate the empirical issues of electorates with valid voter cards obtained from the poll registrars of the National elections Commission during the registration process, but were disenfranchised to execute their inherited constitutional rights, the shutdown of electricity and many more, but the most important focus is the authentic final official announcement as to those who will emerge victorious; both presidential and representative candidates. So, let us exercise high level of restrain and do not presume until the negative shows up. Now, the National Elections Commission chairman has the exclusive power vested in him to make the final and official declaration of results and pronouncements in these elections.
Any unauthentic result announced that will become dissatisfaction to a candidate, should use the rule of law for redress. Let’s invoke the constitutional provisions in challenging the results, if pronouncement is insincere by the Rule of law. Violence will not solve it!
In Kenya, Post election violence led to 1,000 plus people dead when the incumbent, Mwai Kibaki was declared as winner for the country’s election 2007. With dissatisfaction, opposition Raila Odinga called for a mass protest that turned into violence resulting to one thousand persons dead, 600,000 people displaced, 42,000 houses and many businesses were looted and destroyed that lasted from December 2007 to February 2008 when the National Peace Accord was signed.
I hope and pray that our country should not experience any form of chaos anymore. The reason we elect people into our high offices, is to better the country, not individual particularly. We have had and will have more presidents and legislators, but LIBERIA remains our only guarantee. Let us continue to maintain our peace!
Let me take this time to applaud the standard bearer of the Liberty Party, Cllr. Charles Walker Brunskine, having called for a calm of his supporters and partisans who were disfranchised of their constitutional rights to decide the fate of the country not to involve in violence as the means of demand for a redress, but he will use the rule of law, in full compliance of the law for redress. Also, to all those representative candidates who vied for those seats but seemingly the unofficial results have shown their defeat, braced the storm of defeat in congratulating their contenders who could be announced as winners officially by NEC even being intimated with unofficial results. That’s the act shown of being nationalistic and patriotic. Liberia First!
I leave you with Albert Einstein quote “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding”. Let me paraphrase Einstein’s quote in our context, “Our 14yrs of Peace cannot be maintained by practice of election violence or force, but by the understanding and challenges channel through the rule of law.
LIBERIA WILL REMAIN PEACEFUL AND WILL RISE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!