MONROVIA – As Liberia goes to the polls next Tuesday in the country’s presidential and legislative elections, the Government of the United States through its Chargé d’ Affaires at its embassy near Monrovia, Catherine Rodriguez, has wished the people of Liberia free, fair, and peaceful elections.
“As your oldest and one of your closest international partners, we wish Liberia and all its citizens free, fair, and peaceful elections,” Rodriquez noted in a statement yesterday.
She emphasized the importance of Liberia’s impending elections, and told Liberians why they should all exercise their right to turn out and vote freely and peacefully on 10 October.
Rodriquez intimated as Liberian’s long-standing partner, the U.S. takes the 10 October elections seriously, restating her country’s commitment to helping make next Tuesday’s polls free, fair, and peaceful.
She reiterated U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s recent announcement for the imposition of visa restrictions on anyone who undermines Liberia’s democratic process, indicating that United States visa restrictions are but one tool that can be used to help hold accountable anyone who might want to disrupt the 10 October elections.
She informed Liberian electorate that they have the two most powerful tools in the 2023 electoral process, naming such tools as their voice and vote.
“First, use your voice. Talk to your friends and family about the future of your beloved Liberia. Think about where you want to be 6, 12, and 20 years from now. Listen with an open mind to the various candidates and what they have to say,” Rodriquez stated, adding; “Vote for those who have the best plans for your family’s future and the capability to lead Liberia toward that future.”
She reminded Liberians that democracy can be messy; informing the people of Liberia that those who are candidates should compete for their vote.
“That is the way it is supposed to be. However, in every society, there are always a few people who use elections to start rumors, spread misinformation, or engage in even worse things like hate speech and violent rhetoric,” she pointed out.
Rodriquez recalled that the recent tragic loss of lives in Lofa County shows that terrible things can happen when people turn to violence, adding that, that is why violence must always be condemned.
She urged Liberians to reject calls for violence and remember that the best way to resolve their differences is peacefully through the ballot box.
She further urged Liberians to exercise their right to vote, which she referred to as the most valuable power that any democracy offers its people.
“Your vote is your ticket to the future you want for yourself and your family. Don’t squander that very important right by not voting. Go vote and make your voice heard through the ballot box,” Rodriquez rallied Liberian electorate.