My Fellow Liberians:
I take this opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation to the people of Liberia for their peaceful participation in the first round of the General and Presidential Elections held on October 10, 2023.
Liberia has now held its 4th General and Presidential Elections since the end of the fourteen year civil conflict. This, I truly believe, is evidence that multi-party democracy is gaining strong roots in Liberia.
The Liberian people showed tremendous commitment to the democratic process by their tenacity in withstanding the rain and the scorching sun to cast their vote in an orderly and peaceable manner. While I am very pleased that the conduct of the Liberian people during these elections proves that we are convinced that the best way to change leadership is through the democratic process, it is concerning that much of the pattern of voting remained along tribal and ethnic loyalties. About sixty-nine point eight percent (69.8%) of the former members of the House of Representatives were rejected – dismissed by the Liberian people – their employers. This may be an encouraging sign as it shows a significant growth in political awareness, maturity and sophistication among Liberian voters. In time, perhaps ethnicity may play a smaller role as qualifications and effectiveness of candidates becomes preeminent.
Let me admonish the two Presidential finalists in addition to the new core of legislative leaders to beware that they will have a short “honeymoon period” (or time provided by the Liberian people) before we must begin to see positive results in the governance of our country. You must present a clear and progressive path towards a prosperous future. The Liberian people’s expectations are very high. You must view yourselves as representing the close of an era and the passing of the baton to a new generation of leaders. Begin the next six years by building leadership steeped in intellect, experience, effectiveness and integrity, regardless of ethnicity, gender or even political affiliation.
I want to acknowledge the international community for their support to the Liberian electoral process especially their robust monitoring and observation throughout the country. There is indeed a paradigm shift in the political process of our country. Let us all welcome it and work together to improve the lives of our people. The Liberian people will no longer accept any excuses for delay or mediocrity.
As we go into the Runoff Presidential Elections, let us go in peace, continuing the same trend we exhibited during the first round. Liberia has a lot to gain if we maintain the peace. It is peace that paves the way for reconciliation, healing, national development and progress.
God bless Liberia and grant us peace and prosperity.