New Castle, Delaware – The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) is congratulating Montserrado County Senator George, Manneh Weah and Bong County Senator, Jewel Howard Taylor, on their elections as President and Vice-President of the Republic of Liberia.
The National Elections Commission (NEC) on December 29, 2017, declared President-elect Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) as winner of the December 26th run-off presidential election after securing more than 732 thousand votes representing 61.5 percent of the total ballots cast while incumbent Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP) lost with approximately 458 thousand votes which accounted for 38. 5 percent of the overall ballots.
ALJA, in a press release issued on January 1, 2018, expressed profound sentiments to Senators Weah and Taylor on their ascendency to the two highest offices in Liberia; and admonished them to embrace their elections as a social contract between them and the Liberian people.
The Association described the overwhelming election of President-elect Weah as a manifestation of the trust and confidence Liberians have in his ability to lead Liberia at this critical period in the country’s quest for sustained democracy, stability, reconciliation, rule of law, and peaceful co-existence.
ALJA called on the Montserrado County Senator to see the mandate given him by the Liberian electorate as a glorious opportunity for him and his incoming administration to craft and foster socio-economic policies that would not only unite and reconcile Liberians irrespective of political, religious, and social affiliations, but would advance the cause of free speech and press freedom in the country.
The US based Liberian media advocacy organization maintained “free speech and press freedom are indispensable ingredients in the sustenance of any democracy the world over.”
The Association urged President-elect Weah to ensure that the unhindered free speech and press freedom, which Liberians now enjoy under the Johnson-Sir leaf administration, is not tempered with or hindered by anyone in his administration.
Additionally, ALJA advised Senator Weah to ensure that the enabling media environment created by the Johnson-Sirleaf government which allows Liberians to freely express their views on national matters and journalists to practice their noble profession without any form of intimidation and harassment from public officials is sustained.
ALJA hoped Amb. Weah would rise to the occasion to build a unified country that Liberians from all walks of life, will live and proudly call home.
Meanwhile, the Association has hailed Vice President Boakai for graciously conceding defeat in the run-off election without any hindrance. ALJA said the Vice President’s acceptance of the election’s result without qualms manifests his love of country and true statesmanship.
The US based Liberian journalists group also, commended the NEC for the able manner in which it planned and executed the run-off election despite the time and logistical challenges the Commission was faced with in the performance of its national duties.
The Association further applauded the Liberian electorate for the peaceful manner in which they exercised their democratic franchise on December 26, 2017, when they went to the polls to elect their leaders for the governance of Liberia for the next 6 years.
ALJA said for Liberians to stand patiently in queues to cast their votes signified their unresolved commitment to the democratic process that has been rooted in the country and further cautioned the Liberian electorate to nurture the process by holding their leaders accountable and actively participating in the governance process of Liberia, adding that the participation of Liberians in the governance process is vital to the survival of the nation’s democracy.
Commenting on the resolved legal dispute that evolved out of the October 10, 2017, general and presidential elections, ALJA said it is a maturation of the country’s democratic system that electoral disputes in the first round of the elections were resolved constitutionally devoid of any form of violence.