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Thursday, April 18, 2024

TOWARDS 2023 PROCESS – THE NEED TO INHIBIT FRAUDULENT ELECTION

Date:

An opinion by Bill K Jarkloh

EMAIL: billkjarkloh@gmail.com /jarklohbi@ul.edu.lr

Recent events on our way towards the 2023 election are obviously indicative of an attempt to 2023 process that may take the country back to Egypt unless we discover our past as a nation and people. The beginning of electoral irregularities in the first democracy in Africa, the Republic of Liberia,   is traced as far back as the early 1920s which was handed down to the 1980s and 1997.

For each time we misbehaved during elections, we suffered consequences.  Election rigging in the history of Liberia’s democracy was first recorded, if it had ever been at any other time in history, into the Guinness Book of Records as a result of the fraud that had attended the 1927 democratic process.

The 1927 contest between President King and his contender, Standard-bearer Faulkner of the People’s Party, was recorded as the most fraudulent election ever in the Guinness Book of Records. (Akwei, July 10, 2017 ) Years after, Liberia recorded yet another infamous election on pages of African history books and outstanding publications of the world in 1985 and a third in 1997. In any case, it is obvious that poor democratic records of vote rigging have recorded ineffable negative consequences for the country. The repercussions attending the aftermath of these fraudulent elections usually resulted in actions by affected opponents.

Therefore Considering that a free, fair, and transparent 2022 process is a panacea for sustainable peace and democracy in the country as opposed to the political turbulence experienced in the past, and judging from the trend of pre-election discussions and agitations over suspicions of an ensuing fraudulent election in the face of a politically factionalized media setting,  this article intends to remind the Liberian political actors, the people and the media of the devastating consequences fraudulent elections had had on our country and the body polity of Liberia.

My concern is a result of what had happened in recent times which is reminiscent of a situation that resulted in a full-scale civil war in the aftermath of the 1985 b democratic process. It started when a pro-ANC “WE ARE TIRED” Rally was held when ANC politicians were critical of the CDC Government of President George Weah.

Why we will discuss some of the criticisms by Cummings are not new, but are prevalently indicated across the opposition bloc in speeches, the President’s robust reaction that went low to insulting while at the Dominion Church indicates intolerance, especially when he stated that he will deal with opposition people that will protest without permission (a paraphrase).

The President, returning from a more than a 40-day trip, could not have responded so poorly had rested and critically reviewed Mr. Cummings statement before his reaction. While I am not a Cummings supporter, I am concerned because we witnessed a similar display of intolerance by President Samuel K. Doe to the positions of his critics and the severity he dealt with issues that resulted in a rigged election and the subsequent fleeing from the country.  Do we want to travel a similar path during the 2023 process, I don’t think so.

It is notwithstanding more concerning when some diaspora Liberians decisively responded that they are ready to counter any action that the President would want to render to the opposition groupings. Well, these exchanges are not within the spirit of a peaceful election Liberians would anticipate considering the history of the electoral system of the country as far back as in the 1920s.

Overview of the Liberia Electoral System

In every country, however, issues bordering on the conduct of elections have precipitated the kind of electoral system that is practiced in a given society. For instance in Liberia, the electoral system used here is a majoritarian system, whereby the candidate who has the highest number of votes is declared the winner of an electoral contest, especially for those who contest for legislative seats in their constituencies. However, majoritarian voting for the presidency is achieved in a single election using the main form of the majoritarian system which is the two-round system – the most common system used for presidential elections around the world.

This system, research has proven, is being used in 88 countries for presidential elections and 20 countries are said to be using it to determine winners of seats for constituencies represented in their legislatures. For this system, a second round is held to determine the winner in the case that no candidate achieves a majority of votes in the first round of voting. Under the Liberian electoral system, 50 plus one vote is required for a presidential.

For the presidential election in Liberia, a candidate has automatically declared a winner of the process if he or she achieves the threshold of 50+1 votes as a winner if there should not be a second round of voting in the process. Should there be a second round of voting, the contest is to involve the two candidates that received the highest votes in a bid to determine who should win the 50+1 vote win.

Cognizant of this system, opposition parties have stepped up efforts against the ruling party, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to ensure that there shouldn’t be a second round chance for that incumbent, President George Manner Weah, who aspires to a second term of six years.

To say the least, Liberian political actors provided for the majoritarian system constitutionally because the people believed that it is the system that is appropriate for our political system. There are other systems practiced elsewhere that could have been chosen.  For instance, the proportional representation or the PR system whereby subgroups of an electorate including states, regions, or political parties, etc. are reflected proportionately in the elected body is one of the systems.

Others include the mixed-member majoritarian representation or the MMM system combining majoritarian and proportional methods; the mixed-member proportional representation MMP or MMPR system – a system in which votes cast are considered in local elections and are also meant to determine the overall vote tallies which are used to allocate additional members to produce the overall proportional representation; and the semi-proportional representation (non-mixed) system which characterizes multi-winner electoral system allowing representation of the minorities with intent to reflect the strength of the competing political forces in close proportion to the votes they receive,  amongst others.

The Road towards 2023

As stated earlier, the road to 2023 seems rocky and frightening. The election history of the country suggests that where there are disputes over election results, the country has suffered instability. Some 30 years or more along the road the aftermath of fraudulent elections have caused the country and its people much devastation.  It can be recalled that a fraudulent election of 1985 caused the country civil crises that cause massacre and amputation of peaceful and innocent citizens and the destruction of millions of properties including vital national infrastructure.

The road to 2023 is indeed rocky, the billows of confusion has stared roaring ahead of the anticipated electoral process.  It all started with the missing 16 billion Liberian dollars that caused a lot of protestations; the misappropriated US$25 million given to Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah for mopping up excess liquidity of local currency on the money market, the June 7 Protest masterminded by political commentator Henry Pedro Costa, fix our country protest and the irking economic crises embracing high cost of living coupled with insecurity that plagued the country are all trending issues that plague the country.

Besides the failure by the government to establish the war and economic crime court especially at a time corruption is sky-rocketing and former rebels generals have come public to defend the CDC government is a serious minus from the integrity and sincerity of the Weah administration which is also a yardstick by the opposition to measurement the defeat of President Weah’s bid for a second term.

Additionally, the ruling CDC has tampered with and weaken the effectiveness of graft institutions such as the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and the Governance Commission and the General Auditing Commission, and somehow effectively curbed their efficiencies by appointing into them weaklings and unprofessional for the purpose of controlling their operations.

Accordingly, the country is saturated with mixed feelings across the country against the system and the governance process. There has been a number of instances of people going missing and others of mysterious deaths permeating the country, the dreadfulness of Monrovia at nights are amongst other scaring circumstances defining the joining to 20233 while the delay of the already cut salaries of civil servants are a chunk of the criticisms beclouding the Liberian bureaucracy towards the ensuing process.

Recently, the president was accused of always using the church pulpit to criticize and threaten opposition,  castigate and mudsling opposition figures, the latest being his response to the “WE ARE TIRE” political rally organized by the followers of Alexander Cummings at the Dominion Church of Bishop Isaac Winker.

All of these excesses culminated in efforts at opposition amalgamation under the Collaboration of four Political Parties (CPP) amidst outcries of rampant corruption in government, irking national economic conditions characterizing high prices, acute insecurity and other negative vices attending the governance system. The critical opposition greeted these trending situations in the society with a number of protestations and other forms of expressing their misgivings as stated supra.

Accordingly four of the opposition parties, namely the Unity Party (UP) of former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, the Liberty Party (LP) Grand Bassa County Senator and political Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, the All-Liberia Party (ALP) of Businessman Wilfred Benoni Urey  and the Alternative National Congress (ANC) of Alexander Cummings decided to collaborate and formed the Collaboration of Political Parties  to forge the singular Agenda of  removing President Weah of the CDC coalition from power at the first round of voting during the ensuing presidential 2023 election.

But  it was no  sooner than later when crises beset the CPP resulting from who should be the candidate to go against the incumbent, the candidate for the coalition for democratic Change, a conglomeration of three political parties with incumbent President Weah seeking his second term.

In the opposition the UP, LP and ALP had jointly persuaded Mr. Cummings of the ANC to be a Vice Standard-bearer to the Unity Party’s Joseph Boakai, but Cummings rejected, saying he did not join the CPP for vice to be a member of the CPP. Cummings insisted on a congress to select the standard-bearer for the collaboration. It was speculated that Cummings intended to buy delegates, a reason why the other parties insisted thereby breaking down the CPP as it was earlier constituted.

In the midst of these the Liberian media is divided, there are some media outlets who have been defending the government and the ruling party, projecting that the government has worked more than any government ever.

The pro-government media pointed to the building of road infrastructure, the investment into Liberian medical doctors sent away to study to boost the health system, free tuition offered University students, payment of West African Exams fees for secondary school students, the 14 Military Hospital and the restoration of electricity to Monrovia amongst others are some of the success the pro-government media ascribed to President Weah when they contend that the government has worked more than any government ever, which in essence is farfetched.

However, President Weah himself is confident that he will defeat the opposition at the polls, saying that the Liberian people themselves have believed in him and noted his exploits as a development oriented President, who had worked more than his predecessors.   The president and his CDC argued that the CDC that is able to manage its collaboration is definitely unable to handle the affairs of state, a reason that reinforces and militates his confidence of winning the 2023 process.

These exchanges are reminiscent of those that attended previous elections in 1985 and subsequently in 1997 before and after the Liberian civil wars. Important amongst the exchanges is the suspicion the President has kept Madam Davidetta Brown Lansannah   despite the criminal charges hanging over her.

Opposition believed that Madam Lansannah is kept at the helm of the National Elections Commission for  blackmail, since she could be called to court for prosecution if she does not dance to the beat of the drum of the ruling party during this electioneering period.  With these, the question is, will we avoid the past or will we allow the country to slide back into a post-election catastrophe such as the situation after the 1985 elections?

The 1985 Elections

The 1985 elections that brought President Samuel K. Doe to democratic leaders produced a devastating outcome for the country and its people, although the I985 elections, the first ever for the second republic after the popular 1980 coup that ousted the True Whig Party regime headed by President William Richard William Tolbert as a turning point for the Liberians as a people.

Its chaotic and violent aftermath was due to the fact that the process, like it is during the anticipated 2023 presidential and legislative elections, marked by suspicions speculations, uncertainties and generally insecurity amongst key political institutions, actor and their followers, including the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) which was obviously the incumbent party. This above suggests an imperative that the road to 2023 should remain peaceful so that Liberians will not slide back into the ditch of horror, despair and mayhem.

With the path trodden by politicians at the time, the presidential contest got underway involving the three opposition political parties and the National Democratic Party and Liberians finally went to the polls amidst the gloomy process to elect Liberia’s first president of the Second Republic and members of the bi-cameral legislature following a brief but vigorous electoral campaign.

The process itself was enthusiastic as the general hope was to use the ballot to send the soldiers back to the barracks so as to enthrone a democratic system to mark the actual change for which the April 14, 1980 Coup was necessarily embraced by the people.

However, the hope of the people were dashed against their past isolation in the country’s 138 years of existence by the few elite Americo-Liberians, the free American slaves who eventually settled here – in this Grain Coast of Africa and established an oligarchy which deprived the people their universal franchise of through a multi-party party alliance of the electorates to truly participate in the determination of the national leadership as citizens.

This does not mean that there were never genuine presidential contest in the past few centuries that precedes the 1985 process, the electorates of the pre-1985 elections were restricted to the so-called the Americo-Liberian ethnic grouping mainly comprising of the repatriated freed slaves that settled on the Grain coast, now the Republic of Liberia, who were of course unrepresentative of the broad-base masses of the people of the country.

Notwithstanding, when voting rights were extended to the people, mainly the indigenous during the pre-1980 Coup era, their entire participation in national electoral exercise was comical,  ludicrous, preposterous and farcical as places outside the Capital City otherwise referred to as “interior” or “provinces” were not actually considered.

The national leadership was decided on Capitol Hill with no input from the masses of the people; the preferred candidates of the majority of the elite Americo-Liberians were always declared the winner. In fact an opposition often put up by the ruling party was to produce an impression of a contest. A classic example was the Barclay-Faulkner contest with the official candidate of the ruling party capturing 99.5 percent of the vote against a token opposition. Oh yes! The 1927 general elections in Liberia made history as the most fraudulent election ever held.

With only about 15,000 registered voters, the incumbent Charles D. B. King garnered 243,000 votes against Thomas J. Faulkner who won 9,000 votes. This event made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the most fraudulent election ever. (Akwei, July 10, 2017).  But results of the Barclay-Faulkner elections, like it did with the aftermath of the 1985 elections, led Liberia into crises as the result of the dissatisfaction that ensued when Liberia was accused of practicing forced labor and slavery.

58 years after that a chaotic 1927 democratic process was the i985 elections which also caused Liberia a national debacle that provoked international intervention.   In his Book: LIBERIA – The Road to Democracy, Willie A. Givens wrote, that the elections exposed cynics and regime critics who had predicted that the General Doe, the head of state and supporters would find a last minutes excuse by postponing the polling in fabricating a crisis to avoid the defeat were surprised when Doe ensure the conduct of the election on time (on October 15, 1985).

This passage indeed suggested that political leaders of the day and their followers sensed there would be vote rigging before the elections were held.  Contesting parties against the Doe’s NDPL were the Liberia Action Party’s (LAP) Jackson F. Doe, the Liberia Unification Party’s (LUP) Gabriel William Kpolleh,  and the Unity Party’s (UP) Edward Beyan Kesselly fielded against the NDPL’s Samuel K. Doe who was then head of the ruling civil-military regime of Interim National Assembly (INA).

Already Doe banned the other two political parties – Gabriel Baccus Mathews’ the United People’s Party (UPP) and Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer’s Liberia People’s Party (LPP); But Mr. Givens wrote in his book that these two parties failed to be registered on ground that there were attempts by them to breach constitutional provisions, amongst others.

As stated earlier, the elections itself was held with crowds enthusiastically amidst these uncertainties, with partisans of participating opposition parties which formed an alliance to support behind LAP’s Jackson Doe chanting “co-co-leo-co, co-co-leo-co” (sound of a rooster crow) was everywhere there were polling. This obviously signified that the majority of the electorates voted for the Liberia Action Party of Jackson F. Doe which has a rooster as an emblem of his Liberia Action Party.

Notwithstanding the enthusiasms that attended the process in the hope that the elections would have a peaceable and desirable outcome, the results, to the contrary, were controversial as the Head of State, General Samuel K. Doe was announced winner by the Emmet Harmon Bench of the Special Elections Commission (SECOM), now the National Elections Commission under the protection of heavily armed military guards. Besides the Presidential contest, 314 candidates 90 contested seats in the National Legislature (26 in the Senate and 64 in the House of Representatives) at the time (SECOM, 1985).

Cllr. Harmon announced, as Chairman of the Special Elections Commission, under gunpoint at the Unity Conference Center on the Outskirt of Monrovia that of the 518,872 valid votes cast reported, the NDPL’s Samuel Doe – the incumbent garnered 264,364 votes; 137, 270 vote were allotted to Jackson F. Doe of LAP; LUP’s Gabriel William Kpolleh was allotted 59, 965 and while UP’s Edwards Kesselly was allotted 57, 273 votes respectively.

But the tally reported which put incumbent Samuel K. Doe ahead as the winner of the election did the country more evil than good. It triggered condemnation nationwide amongst the leading and influential political figures who, with Doe’s attempted to silence them with the use of the national army – the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), fled into exile, regroup and returned with guns, thereby ending the Doe regime at the expense of the loss of more than 250,000 lives and the destruction of millions worth of public and private properties.   Surely the rigging of the 1985 elections brought untold suffering on the country when the fratricidal civil debacle ensued.

Another ugly electoral event was the process of the 1997 elections, which followed the fratricidal civil debacle that lasted for more than 14 years of our national existence.  During this election which brought Charles Ghankay Taylor to power as elected President, the elections were marred with acrimonies, tension and chaos. The Liberian elite politicians were being warned against electing warlords, but to choose a leader who is not blemished with war.

Some members of the international community, specifically the United States Embassy run  Jingles in the electronic media and the print outlets with some stating, “THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE AND BAD PEOPLE IN LIBERIA;’ LET THE GOOD PEOPLE WIN.” But this simple and well-structured message of warning did not resonate with Liberians. Instead, the multitude of the Liberian people jumped into the streets chanting in favor of Mr. Taylor, “YOU KILL MY MA, YOU KILL MY PA, I WILL VOTE FOR YOU….” to the amazement of the international community.   But what happened when Taylor was eventually elected President? The country slipped back to war and things went worst.

Vote-Rigging Consequences

The world over, elections are always issue based. This is because the entire process is about making choices for better living. During electoral processes those who aspired to leadership proffer themselves forward and showcase their qualities of leadership, giving electorates the opportunity to make choices for elective positions from amongst them. But this process which characterizes showing allegiance to political institutions and those the put forward to participate in those process are serious undertakings that tied to livelihoods and betterment not of than individual but that of the country and it people. It is therefore a life game that can set a country and its people ablaze.

During the period of 1989-1996 Liberians who fled the country for fear for reprisal after a highly contested and rigged presidential regrouped in exiled and decided to return with phases of armed belligerence aimed at overthrowing the NDPL regime of President Samuel Doe. This laid the basis for the dreadful Liberia Civil war.

In the first place after a purported Coup led by M. M. Flanzamington, Doe’s brother-in-law who happened to be commander of the Presidential Guard Battalion, and other allegedly attempts reportedly made on the Presidency failed. Additionally, former Commanding General of the People’s Redemption Council, General Thomas Quiwonkpah led military Coup from Sierra Leone against President Samuel Doe on November 12, 1985. Quiwonkpah was one of the 17 enlisted men that Master-Sergeant Doe led when the People’s Redemption Council toppled the True Whig Party regime of President William R. Tolbert.

Both Doe and Quiwonkpah had a brawl over the removal of the latter from the Brigade Headquarters at the Barclay Training Center as Commanding General, and Quiwonkpah finally fled into exile at the West Point Base of the United States, according to reports.  The November 12 1985 Coup was put down by soldiers loyal to President Doe and Quiwonkpah was killed. It was speculated that opposition politicians and other Liberian that fled the country rallied the international community to fund the coming of Quiwonkpah to Liberia.

It was four years after when Charles McArthur Taylor, on December 24, 1989, announced at the Butuo Border of Liberia with Ivory Coast that he was coming to remove Doe from power Taylor from power. The incident resulted to a full skill civil war, which was one of Africa’s bloodiest, claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Liberians and further displaced a million others into refugee camps in neighboring countries.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intervened and succeeded in preventing Charles Taylor from capturing Monrovia. Prince Johnson–who had been a member of Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) but broke away because of policy differences–formed the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL). Johnson’s forces captured and killed Doe on September 9, 1990.

Elections were held in 1997 after the death of Does. But the conduct of the people of the country towards the election of President Taylor triggered another round of civil war in fall of the 1990s up to 2003.  On June 4, 2003 in Accra, Ghana, ECOWAS facilitated the inauguration of peace talks among the Government of Liberia, civil society, and the rebel groups called “Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy” (LURD) and “Movement for Democracy in Liberia” (MODEL). LURD and MODEL largely represent elements of the former ULIMO-K and ULIMO-J factions that fought Taylor during Liberia’s previous civil war (1989-1996).

Also on June 4, 2003, the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone issued a press statement announcing the opening of a sealed March 7 indictment of Liberian President Charles Taylor for “bearing the greatest responsibility” for atrocities in Sierra Leone since November 1996.

By July 17, 2003 the Government of Liberia, LURD, and MODEL signed a cease-fire that envisioned a comprehensive peace agreement within 30 days. The three parties subsequently broke that cease-fire repeatedly, which resulted in bitter fighting that eventually reached downtown Monrovia. (US Department of State, January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017.)

Similarly, the 1927 election was between the TWP and the People’s Party was fraudulent. Following the election, Faulkner accused members of the True Whig Party government of using slave labor at home and selling slaves to the Spanish colony of Fernando Po, as well as involving the Army in the process.

Despite the government’s denials and a refusal to cooperate, the League of Nations established the “International Commission of Inquiry into the Existence of Slavery and Forced Labor in the Republic of Liberia”, under the chairmanship of British jurist Cuthbert Christy, to determine the extent of the problem. U.S. President Herbert Hoover briefly suspended relations to press Monrovia into compliance.

In 1930, the committee’s report was published, and although it could not substantiate charges of slavery and forced labor, it implicated government officials, including both President King and his Vice President Allen Yancy of profiting from forced labor, which was equated to slavery.  Accordingly, there were also suggestions about putting Liberia into trusteeship. As a result, the House of Representatives began impeachment procedures against King, who quickly resigned.

The aforesaid dictates that Liberia is indeed on the crossroad. Clearly, the first time that power was turned over from one party to the other peacefully in Liberia was in 2017 when the former governing Unity Party handed power to the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change of African and world football icon,  George Manneh Weah.

The example set by the UP was unique and a landmark precedent in the Republic of Liberia over the decades, which was therefore hailed by nations of sub-Sahara Africa, celebrated by the entire continent, and supported by the world over, reason being that election is the right or power to choice, or privilege granted a person or group of people to make choice.   If the above is true, there is no need for another group of people or a political party to infringe on this universal right of another in a manner unacceptably a chaotic one.

It is against this background that we relate the sequence of these consequences of rigged elections in the country, using the two of the worst cases in the c country – the 1927 Barclay-Faulkner election and the Samuel Doe- Jackson Doe contest of 1985. These two elections were unprecedentedly labelled the country’s worst political contests and accordingly has impacted the people negatively.

The result or aftermath of the Barclay-Faulkner election of 1927 exposed the country to the practice of force labor and slavery and subjected the country to external investigation a result of which suggested the Liberia should be a trustee state.  On the other hand,   the outcome of the Samuel Doe- Jackson Doe brought about untold suffering, massive deaths and left hundreds of millions worth of public and private properties destroyed while the 1997 process invited a situation which was further a recipe and a yardstick used to destroy the remaining infrastructure after the 1990 debacle that resulted from the 1985 process.

Conclusion

But one reason that led to these catastrophic national crises or blemishes on the nation was simply greed by those who are duty bearers, intolerance by state bureaucrats and insensitivity on the part of stakeholders and the very people. Since we are contending with issues for a dispensation that may be considered the third republic, may I conclude that these same vices are showing up. The people, especially stake holders and duty bearers, are ignoring the reality that their mutual intolerance and greed for state power, coupled with rampant corruption in state bureaucracy and acute state insecurity are dangerous to the 2023 process.

The regrouping of some former rebel generals in the name of defending the he CDC government which should be protected by state security forces, the formation of militants by Montserrado County District 10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah and the militarization of the past 2022 Lofa County Senatorial Election are proof of introduction of militancy in the ensuing electoral process.

Such is reminiscent of the 1985 electoral process when the incumbent NDPL Government imported ruthless Sierra Leonean thugs wearing red T-shirts and berets against the opposition to ensure that the civilians population – loyalists and leaders of the alliance of three opposition parties namely LAP, LUP and UP are cowed to submission for a win. There were random deaths as bodies, like it is today, that were being found in the streets.

For instance, the cases of Esther Parker and policeman Melvin Pyne were amongst the toll of those secretly killed and found in the streets like it is at presently with the mysterious death of Princess Cooper, Giftie Lama and her boss Mr. Peters from the LRA; and the mysterious deaths including that of the three guys for which the government ably defended Saint Moses who reportedly sent them to a place from where they were never seen again. Memories of elections of the mid-1980s are afresh when the level ruthlessness display by the power-that-be drove the opposition people into exile where they regrouped and influenced the 1990 civil crises.

These scenarios are seemingly manifesting. There are lots of Liberians outside the country in opposition who were not satisfied with the governing pattern of present regime, and are equally responding to threats being made by the government, specifically with reference to remarks by President Weah when he used Isaac Winker’s Dominion Church pulpit to lash at the opposition. The President did not mince his words when he said registered his preparedness to deal with opposition people for whatever reason he pointed to.

What is at stake by this assertion is that President and his the government did not mindfully exhibit sensitivity towards the plight of the people. I believe that the CDC government should allow for a free and fair election, and the opposition is equally advised to remain thoughtful for the ordinary people who have nowhere to run to. We shouldn’t revisit the past, political stakeholders should be mutually tolerate each and be sensitive to the plight of the people.  It is time to uphold the precedence of 2017, the cherished memory that was hailed by the international community

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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The author of this article, Mr. Bill K. Jarkloh, is a candidate for a graduate degree in peacebuilding. A lecturer at the University of Liberia, the author who is a 2011 graduate of the University of Liberia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication. He garnered extensive experience of Liberian politics since 1985 as he walked through the ranks of the independent media of the country from rank of cub reporter through news and feature editor ranks to that of editor-in-chief  amongst others with various newspapers. He also served the Embassy of Ghana as Executive Officer for Information (2005-2009) at the time the Embassy was the doyen of the diplomatic corps and Chairman of the International Contact Group of Liberia (ICGL). Presently, the author is media trainer and field officer of the Liberia Media Center and a lecturer at the University of Liberia.

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