MONROVIA – The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) expresses its support for the United States Government’s new visa restrictions targeting individuals who pose a threat to Liberia’s burgeoning democracy.
These restrictions specifically focus on prominent figures within the country’s political sphere and are intended to dissuade those with malicious intentions from pursuing their harmful agendas.
In a press release issued on Thursday, September 28, 2023, the PUL calls upon all Liberians to prioritize their nation’s interests above political parties or individual affiliations. The Union underscores the unacceptable nature of reverting to past violence, which has contributed to Liberia’s current underdevelopment.
The PUL issued a caution to both the Liberian government and opposition political parties, urging them to refrain from making inflammatory statements that could jeopardize the country’s peace. It emphasizes that intentionally provocative rhetoric may result in politicians and their families being included on the list of individuals prohibited from traveling to the United States of America.
The PUL firmly believes that safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process is a shared responsibility involving various stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organizations, the media and international partners. It is imperative for these stakeholders to collaborate effectively in upholding democratic principles and ensuring transparency during the upcoming October 10 elections while avoiding contentious allegations outside of the courts.
Furthermore, the Press Union of Liberia has emphasized that the American government has not called for Liberian politicians to withdraw from ongoing political discussions regarding the right to lead the country. Instead, it encourages them to engage constructively on governance issues that will benefit the Liberian people.
Moreover, the Union is warning journalists affiliated with politically owned media outlets, reminding them that they are not exempt from the U.S. visa restriction policy. This is particularly relevant because some broadcasters and newspapers have taken clear sides in the elections and have used their platforms to launch vicious attacks against opposing candidates.
On Wednesday, September 27, 2023, the United States announced a new visa restriction policy aimed at individuals undermining democracy in Liberia. This policy takes effect ahead of the upcoming general and presidential elections.