MONROVIA – Liberia most loved and celebrated humanitarian Dr. Thomas Nimene Tweh, Jr. has abstained from supporting a particular candidate for the presidential runoff election in Liberia, with a call on his supporters to cast their votes for the betterment of the nation and the improvement of their living conditions.
Dr. Tweh who is affectionately known as Original Country Man, was denied by the Supreme Court of Liberia from contesting for the Representative seat of electoral district # 11 Montserrado County, following a domicile case filed against him by few of his political opponents.
Though the Hearing Officer and the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) earlier ruled that Dr. Tweh was a resident of the district, the High Court overturned the decision, something which prompted a high level of division among residents of the district.
The presidential runoff is expected to take place between President George Manneh Weah and former Liberian Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Standard Bearers of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Unity Party (UP) respectively on November, according to the National Elections Commission (NEC).
It was necessitated due to the failure of the 20 parties and independent candidates that contested the elections to obtain 50 percent plus one vote in keeping with the 1986 Liberian Constitution.
In a statement issued in Monrovia on Thursday, November 9 upon his return to the country, Dr. Tweh emphasized that he remain neutral and would not pledge his support to any of the candidates vying for the nation’s highest seat.
He pointed out that his decision taken to observe the process and play a “twin mother’s role” is intended to afford his thousands of supporters, who are partisans of different political parties, the opportunity to make an independent and informed decision.
Dr. Tweh maintained that his supporters, who have been very disappointed as a result of the court’s ruling to deny him the opportunity to represent them at the National Legislature,” now have the chance to make a sound judgment in the interest of Liberia and the masses.
He encouraged them to vote their conscience, weigh in on the candidates and see the person who is best suited to lead and transform Liberia for the benefit of all, and not a selective few.
Dr. Tweh observed that for too long the wealth and resources of Liberia have not been utilized for the benefit of the masses, especially ordinary citizens, and as such, Liberians, including his supporters should be decisive at the ballot boxes to take a decision that would ship the destiny of the nation.
He added that prior to casting their votes, his supporters should now take this time to have a sober reflection and reflect on the challenges that they are encountering and where do they want to see themselves and the country in the next six years.
He said citizens should most importantly pray to God for guidance and direction in casting their votes for the leader of their choice.
This, he noted, would enable them to elect the right leader for Liberia.
“As the political leader of thousands of supporters representing various political parties and groupings in district # 11, Montserrado County, I want to respectfully and officially announce to the public that I will not be supporting a particular presidential candidate during the runoff. I remain neutral and want to call on my supporters to vote their conscience for the betterment of Liberia,” he stated.
Dr. Tweh continued: “The decision that you will make at the ballot box should take Liberia to another level or must improve your living conditions. Your votes should also help provide opportunities for you to be able to work and fetch for yourselves in order to provide the basic necessities for you and your family members.”
Speaking further, Dr. Tweh further observed that Liberia’s future now lies in the hands of its citizens.
He said Liberians, particularly those who canvassed in the rain and sun to ensure that he represents them at the National Legislature, should not allow themselves to be misled by accepting handouts including rice or cash from politicians to trade their votes ahead of the runoff.
He encouraged citizens to bear in mind that the decisions they would make on November 14 would affect them positively or negatively in the future, and as such, they should not jeopardy their future and the future of the unborn generation by exercising their political franchise and voting based upon friendship or tribal lines.
“We all should see Liberia as the bigger picture when casting our votes on November 11. We should vote for our future and the future of our children. Let’s speak through our votes to guarantee lasting peace and stability in our country.”
Dr. Tweh, however, cautioned against the misconstruing of his decision by people who do not mean well for Liberia and its citizens, especially those blocking or preventing the choices of Liberians from being elected during national elections.
He cautioned his supporters and others against engaging into acts which have the propensity to derail the peace and stability of the country before, during and after the runoff elections.
Dr. Tweh emphasized that maintaining peace and tranquility in post-conflict Liberia should be the paramount concern of all citizens.
He further expressed the hope that the outcome of the presidential runoff elections would be a “win-win situation for all Liberians and will help transform the country from its current status to another level.”
He encouraged all parties to accept the outcome of the elections and embrace one another after a prolong period of division and mixed feelings which characterized the entire 2023 electioneering period in Liberia.
Hundreds of supporters of Dr. Tweh stormed the Roberts International Airport upon his return to the country recently to welcome him.
They stated that though the Liberian humanitarian has been prevented from representing them, they still see him as their “political godfather” due to the immense and countless numbers of humanitarian assistance he has carried out over the years.
They named the provision of micro loans and scholarships to marketers and students, construction of hand pumps, rehabilitation of roads, among others as some of the initiatives Dr. Tweh has undertaken in and out of the districts.
The decision made by Dr. Tweh to remain neutral would help provide his supporters the opportunity to either independently vote on party lines or abstain from the process.
“Dr. Tweh was not waiting to be elected before starting to help or develop our district. He has done things that even our current Representative and others never thought about doing. We will always appreciate him for what he is doing for our people, especially those who are in need. As for me, I didn’t even vote in the elections because he was denied. Since he was denied, I don’t have any appetite to vote for anyone,” Doris Saydee, 45, stated.