Monrovia – The standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party, Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, said their intervention action in support of Liberty Party’s challenge was not a selfish or opportunistic one, nor was it in any way a strategy to unnecessarily cause delay and prolong the electoral process, as alleged by detractors.
According to VP Boakai, to the contrary, their stance was anchored in the party’s principle to promote and foster a culture of fair and transparent elections in the country for present and future generations.
“In fact, because elections are part of legitimate and inclusive politics and ensure political settlement in the clash of ideas and competition for the hearts and minds of voters, they must result in the clearest and unfettered expression of the will of the people.
“We made a responsible and patriotic choice to resort to the rule of law over violence and protests."
"We chose respect for the rule of law over looting, pillaging and destruction of properties. For those of us who have lived long enough, we know how elections have been conflict prone," UP Standard Bearer Boakai said.
“In 1927, Liberia made history that earned us an unenviable place in the Guinness Book of Records: staging the most fraudulent elections in the world.
In 1985, we wept over a rigged election over which the opposition protested and later on ended in the infamous Belle Yallah Maximum Prison.
“The violence that followed overwhelmed and undermined our peace."
"In 2005, the opposition engaged in street protests and in 2011 we witnessed the tragedy of the loss of life of one of our citizens as a result of disagreements over the elections results.”
Speaking further, the Vice President indicated that unlike those who engaged in such unwholesome behaviors, the Unity Party and allies, this year, chose to tread the course as prescribed by the laws. According to him, UP has thus shown determination to ensure electoral integrity now and in the future.
“As one of the two political parties announced by NEC to take part in the previously scheduled runoff, UP could have simply insisted on going into the run-off if the party observed nothing unusual and simply chose to be selfish and unpatriotic.
But considering the larger interest of the Liberian people, and cognizant of the terrible destination to which fraudulent actions have led the country in the past, the Unity Party opted to put aside its electoral advantage and seize the moral high ground,” the VP said.
“We joined other parties to ensure that truly free, fair and transparent elections are conducted without interference and manipulation from any quarters, and to ensure that the outcome of the electoral process correctly and accurately reflects the true aspiration of the majority of the Liberian People.”
“For us in the Unity Party and the collaborating parties, it has never been a question of just winning elections — as important that is in the governance of our country.”
The UP political leader furthered that his party (UP) is more interested in ensuring that whoever ultimately emerged as President would secure the legitimacy and moral authority to lead the country without any shade of doubt.
“For us, we would rather be President for all Liberians, including those who did not vote for us.”
Boakai believe that the verdict of Supreme Court and the burden of history have proven them right as they sought to exorcise the evils of the country’s electoral process and to support the forward march to progress. “Here today, we stand vindicated!”
The Unity Party maintains that the surest way to ensuring transparent elections in Liberia is to identify and remove all those electoral problems that marred the October 10, 2017 presidential elections by sanitizing the electoral process, and ensuring that those overseeing the process divest themselves of personal interests by relentlessly upholding electoral integrity.
The VP stressed that Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine has earned for himself an enviable place in our nation’s history.
VP Boakai’s commended Cllr. Brumskine’s “bold and courageous move” has earned him an enviable place in the Liberian history.
“He emerges as a champion for the respect of the rule of law in these electoral undertakings. He has offered us a new deal and we must applaud him. His pursuit of due process in this dispute is a historical landmark for which we salute him.
“In the same breath we would like to thank the leader of the All Liberian Party, Mr. Benoni Urey, who stood firmly on the side of history in the quest to uphold the credibility and integrity of our electoral process.
“Similarly, we thank the leader of the Alternative National Congress, Mr. Alexander Cummings, for standing with us on the single purpose of ensuring that the process of choosing our leaders be governed by the principle of fair play and inclusiveness.”
He also told journalists at the Press Conference Thursday that he is grateful to collaborating parties which include: National Democratic Coalition (NDC), People Unification Party (PUP), Grassroots Democratic Party of Liberia (GDPL), All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP), Union of Liberia Democrats (ULD) and Victory for Change Party (VCP), who has worked with.
He stressed that as they embark upon the final leg of the process, he called on Liberians to retain their belief in their country and engage the electoral process with the same zeal, zest and interest as before.
“Remember that the future of the country is in your hands. Sitting on the fence would give you one unpleasant result--living with a choice you neither wanted nor made.
“I today issue this clarion call to all Unity Partisans, particularly those who felt left out or disenfranchised for whatever reason, to rally around us as we move to score final victory.