MONROVIA – Once a nation torn by a devastating civil war, Liberia now stands on the precipice of another potential crisis. The upcoming October 10 elections have ignited tensions, and former Charles Taylor official, Philibert Browne, has made a grim prediction – blood in Liberia’s streets due to a refusal to accept the election results.
Browne, managing editor of the pro-George Weah newspaper-Hot Pepper, finds himself embedded in the president’s campaign trail in the Southeastern region of Liberia. As he travels alongside Weah, speculations arise that his recent Facebook post may have been influenced by what he heard or was told by Weah or any of his officials.
As Browne claimed that blood will be on the streets of Liberia, he urged parents to store dry goods and medication as regardless, no one will accept the outcome of the elections. These kind of comments have further intensified the ongoing political tensions in the country.
Browne, once opponent of President Weah, now turned puppet of his government, has been vocal about his support for the incumbent leader throughout his campaign. Philibert Browne had Insinuated in his earlier post, that nothing was wrong with Weah defrauding the upcoming elections because the ECOWAS and the West did similar things twice against Weah. Without any evidence, the former UN sanctioned Taylor man said that he is a witness to the fraud allegedly perpetrated by ECOWAS and the West and did not see anything wrong if Weah defrauded the upcoming polls.
Browne and the entire leadership of the Publishers Association of Liberia have joined Weah on his campaign trail amidst serious allegations, suggesting they have been paid allegedly by Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah to write articles that favors Weah’s candidacy in the elections. These accusations have added fuel to the fire of skepticism surrounding the President’s ability to convince Liberians and maintain a fair electoral process.
Browne was also once a staunch supporter of war crime convict Charles Taylor. He served as the assistant minister of public affairs at the ministry of defense during Taylor’s dreadful regime. He was amongst several Taylor loyalists Sanctioned by the United Nations.
The anticipation surrounding the elections has ignited fear and uncertainty among many Liberians. The wounds of the past civil war still linger, making the prospect of violence all the more concerning. The notion that a peaceful transition of power might be jeopardized raises alarms throughout the nation.
In the face of this ominous prediction, the responsibility falls upon all parties involved, particularly the political leaders, to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process. It is crucial for them to foster an environment of trust and acceptance of the election results, regardless of the outcome.
Liberia’s journey towards stability and progress depends on the collective commitment to democracy and peaceful resolution of disputes. The international community, too, stands ready to support and monitor the elections, urging all stakeholders to prioritize the well-being of the nation and its people.
As Liberia stands at this critical juncture, the hope remains that the citizens, leaders, and institutions will rally together to safeguard the democratic process and prevent the dire consequences foreseen by Philibert Browne. The true test lies not only in conducting free and fair elections but also in demonstrating the maturity and resolve to accept the will of the Liberian people.