Joint Statement by the AU, ECOWAS, UNMIL On Liberia’s Elections

The AULOL, ECOWAS and UNMIL continue to keenly follow developments in Liberia and wish to commend all Liberians, and in particular political parties, for their peaceful conduct throughout the electoral process. We are aware of the grievances and concerns of some political parties regarding the 10 October elections and their complaints to seek either a rerun, or amends towards improving the National Elections Commission’s performance in the areas of concern before holding a run-off election.  We further note the 6 November 2017 Supreme Court ruling, granting the preventive writ of prohibition until the complaint filed by the petitioners is investigated by the NEC and, if need be, the appropriate appeal process to the Supreme Court is availed of and the matter is decided by the Supreme Court.

While we support and encourage the due process followed by the aggrieved parties, the NEC and the Supreme Court, and urge all concerned to continue utilizing the established legal mechanisms to achieve resolution, we cannot but express concern over the prospects of a significant delay in bringing the litigations to their closure, thereby thwarting completion of the election process before the constitutionally-mandated date of government transition in January 2018.

In pursuit of efforts to facilitate a peaceful transition, we reiterate our call on all parties and stakeholders to exercise restraint, uphold the rule of law and conduct all activities with civility and in a non-violent manner, including in their public discourse. We also wish to remind all political parties of their firm commitment to promote a violence-free election, as expressed in their Farmington River Declaration of 4 June 2017, and as reiterated by their various recent public statements. The conduct of peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections is a prerequisite for democratic consolidation, sustainable peace and development in Liberia. It is our fervent hope, therefore, that all stakeholders will remain productively committed to a historic and peaceful transition and that the collective will and aspirations of the Liberian people will not be compromised for individual ambitions. Allegiance to Liberia must remain the common denominator for sustaining peace and the pursuit of development.

Without prejudice to the decisions of the National Elections Commission and the Supreme Court, as bodies vested with the legal and constitutional authority to adjudicate such matters, we call upon all parties to deal with the electoral process in a sincere, responsible and professional manner and vigorously work towards early completion of the on-going legal petitions and motions, so as to enable its conclusion without undue delay. We are confident that the people of Liberia will continue to remain enthusiastically engaged with the electoral process and strive to deliver a successful example of collective national victory, in the interest of all Liberians, the region and the continent at large.

Finally, we wish to make it clear that the destiny of Liberia and its peace and development trajectory remain the responsibility of all Liberians, while the International Community will continue to facilitate any possible assistance that may be deemed necessary to fast-track the country’s development beyond the elections.

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About Cholo Brooks 5090 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.