Liberians React to U.S. Embassy Statement on Liberia’s 2017 Elections


Monrovia – Liberia’s electoral impasse is no doubt an issue of concern in the sub-region as well as the international community.

Report by Gerald C. Koineneh – ge[email protected]

Recently the United Sates Embassy accredited near Monrovia release its first official statement on the ongoing fracas between the National Elections Commission and the Liberty party and its collaborators. 

The US Embassy among other things, stated that no accredited Liberian, regional or international observation group suggested that the cumulative anomalies observed reflect systemic issues sufficient to undermine the fundamental integrity of the electoral process; and warned that efforts by any actors to impede the expressed will of the Liberian people for personal ambition could risk goodwill and future investments in Liberia by international partners. 

While some condemned the US Embassy statement and accused it for interfering in Liberia’s domestic affairs, others welcome the U.S. government position on the ongoing electoral impasse in the country. 

FrontPage Africa has been speaking to citizens on how they welcome the US Embassy statement. 

Laurina Norman, Resident of Paynesville 

“I believe that the US Embassy’s statement makes sense because we cannot be dragging this thing over and over and nothing seems to be correct.

So therefore we should listen to the US Government and put this thing behind us and go on with our normal business; meaning to go through the elections and vote the right person and lead our country to a peaceful transition. 

Those who are saying the American Government is interfering in our business are saying it out of ignorance because America is always there for us.

So if they come up to say that the American should not interfere in our business then I don’t know in which direction they are heading.

They should not forget that America is our big brother. They don’t want to see us go the wrong way; they don’t even want for war to come in our country because Liberians are tired of war.

We are appealing to the parties involved to listen to the US Embassy and the international community so that we can go on with the runoff and choose our leaders.” 

Enoch N. Bartuah, University of Liberia 

“This statement is welcoming because the United States is almost like our father.

They gave birth to us and they are the ones who always come to our aid when we are in problem. I don’t know how others view the statement, but for me it’s welcoming because the US always solves our problem.

Just recently during the Ebola outbreak back in 2014, it was the US, along with other international partners that came to our recue. Look at how the war came to an end here. 

Who called for Charles Taylor to go? It was America. So they cannot sit back and see what they have invested here in Liberia get damage because of our greed. So they have every right to intervene so that our electoral process can be peaceful and for us to not roll back all the gains we have made over the years. 

If one says it’s an outside interference then it beats my imagination because it is impossible for America to be out of our politic totally.

It’s difficult. Most of our decisions, even our constitution is modeled after that of the United States, we are a breed of America. 

There is nothing in Liberia that the US cannot be a part of. America will always intervene, especially when we are going the wrong way. While it is true that we are a sovereign state, we look up to them for guidance and support in many ways.” 

Victor Y. Paye, Professional Barber, GSA Road, Paynesville 

“The international community, especially the US Embassy is playing major role in this process. They want us to keep the peace.

Their intervention is timely because when we continue to haul and pull, it won’t be in the interest of the Liberian people. So their call for the runoff elections to go ahead is welcomed. 

Let the runoff take place and whoever the Liberians will choose will be our leader.

And so I am calling on Mr. Charles Brumskine and the Unity Party to see reason to allow this runoff to go on so that we can maintain the peace.

I urge all those politicians to do everything possible to hold the peace.

What we should focus on is how we can complete the electoral process and have a successful transition. It’s about time to put Liberia first because whenever issue like this continue to drag on, it can have negative impact on the country-investors will go away and the country will not be stable. 

People will be affected.

Because of the election issues, things prices have gone up high. When we go to buy our materials from the super market, the prices can be high. The prices for the shampoo and the hair conditioners have all gone up.” 

Thomas W. Railey, Resident of Paynesville 

“I feel it is very early for the US Government to come in.

They even had problems with their elections and they managed to settle it. I don’t support their early intervention at all. Let America wait, Let Uncle Sam wait and let the legal proceedings go ahead. 

They had their electoral issues and they settled it; let them leave us alone to settle ours. I know they are the police of the world, but let them give us chance so how we can have our elections peacefully.

We continue to talk about peace, but we got to put things in place. And that’s the only way peace will come. Many Liberians are calling for us to put halt to all the legal processes for us to go ahead with the elections. 

But for me, I want a rerun because if we don’t have a rerun, our elections will always be marred by fraud and irregularities.

Most of our elections in Africa cannot be void of fraud and irregularities. It is true that we are all want peace, but Cllr. Brumskine did the best thing following the legal process. He didn’t go to Buutuo; he didn’t go into the bush but he went to the court. That’s the best place he went. 

Additionally, for me I ask Cllr. Jerome Kokorya to recuse himself from the investigation.

Although I am highly concern about the transition, but a rerun would be in the interest of the nation. It would set the precedent and put an end to the issue of fraud in our elections.”