President Sirleaf Warns Education Minister Over Social Media Posts

Monrovia – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has warned Education Minister George Werner over the recent posts on social media, Facebook particularly.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf has told Min. Werner that his recent statement on social media is unbecoming and inconsistent with his position as a senior official of government.

The Education Minister has been critical of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai presidential candidature on social media.

Early this week, he wrote on his Facebook wall 10 reasons for which he supports the vice presidential bid of Senator Jewel Howard Taylor of opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

President Sirleaf also informed Minister Werner that his social media statements are also in contradiction to and undermines her recent special statement on vulgarity, abuse and spread of hate messages by some Liberians during the electoral process.

In a nation-wide address Thursday, the Liberian leader said the social media abuses threatens the peace as well as the run-off.

“Barely a week after the end of first round of elections, our attention has been drawn to displays on social media that are extremely inimical to the survival of our peace and democracy.”

Social media has been bombarded with a wave of fake news in recent weeks with several stories about candidates participating in the ongoing electoral process.

The President used her address Thursday to urge Liberians to remain civil, responsible and continue to be tolerant of diverging opinions and views that might not necessarily be favorable to ours.

“Resorting to profanities on social media contributes nothing to the national discourse, but only serves to taint our national and international image,” the President said.   

“We must all express our indignation to this unacceptable way of politicking and seek to continue the decent democratic values that have brought us this far as a nation and people.”

As Liberians pat themselves on the back for peacefully voting in the October 10 polls, the President said it is crucial for all to demonstrate love for country by and through actions.

She added that the greatest task for now, must focus on how Liberians consolidate the democratic gains made over the last 12 years, by voting peacefully and nationalistically, respecting the law and keeping the peace for the greater good of our country.

The President’s message came just moments after the National Elections Commission declared campaign open for the run-off election between the Unity Party (UP) of Vice President Joseph Boakai and the coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) George Weah.

The runoff comes in the wake of failure by the two political Parties to obtain the constitutional 50 plus one vote to be declared winner of the election.

In the final results announced by the Chairman of the NEC Jerome Korkoya, George Weah of the CDC obtained 596037 votes which constitute 38.8%, followed by Joseph Boakai of the UP with 446716 constituting 28.8%.

“As no single candidate achieved an absolute majority of valid votes cast to be elected to the office of president in the October 10, 2017 election, in accordance with Article 83b of the Constitution and 4.15a of the New Elections Law, the National Elections Commission herewith announces, pursuant to Article 83c and the elections timetable, an election run-off to be held on November 7, 2017 between the two candidates with the most votes in the first round: Mr. George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change and, Mr. Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party.” 

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