*Jonathan to monitor election, pleads contestants to accept results
former World footballer of the Year, George Opong Weah of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is favoured to win the Liberian Presidential run-off election billed for Tuesday in the tiny west African nation.
Opong Weah is running off against the ruling Unity Party candidate and current Vice President, Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
Former Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, is currently on election duty in Liberia. He has called for a free and fair ahead of the Boxing Day
Presidential run-off and advised the two presidential candidates to be ready to accept the result of the elections in the interest of peace.
The former President is serving as the co-leader of the delegation of the United States’ National Democratic Institute (NDI) International Elections Observation Mission to Liberia’s presidential polls.
Jonathan who alongside Atifete Jahjaga, former president of Kosovo and other NDI leaders met separately with both Weah and Boakai urged them to appeal to their supporters to conduct themselves peacefully during the Boxing Day polls and further reminded them that the future of their country depended on the outcome run off.
He said, “In any election, there are winners and losers. Only one presidential candidate will be declared winner. The other should accept the election results to avoid a political crisis, especially if there are no good grounds to challenge the outcome.”
A statement issued by Jonathan’s media adviser Mr. Ikechukwu Eze said the former President also urged the political parties, the National Electoral Commission, and security outfits to play their roles, to ensure a peaceful, inclusive and transparent electoral process.
Jonathan also noted that Nigeria and other West African nations played vital roles in stabilizing the nation, urging Liberians not to do anything that could jeopardise the post-war peace in the land.
He further said: “The economy of Liberia will benefit immensely from a positive and peaceful outcome, as a free and fair process would go a long way in reassuring investors that the country is now safe for lasting investment.
“If the election fails it means Liberia has failed, it also means that Liberia has failed West Africa and failed the entire Africa.”
Although both candidates pointed out some lapses in the preparations, especially with the issue of the voter register, they however agreed to accept the outcome of the results.
Speaking on his preparedness to accept the outcome, weah said: “If the Liberian people decide that the other side will have another 12 years in the Presidency, we will call and congratulate them. But as I said, if the election is free and fair, we are going to win. This is because we have worked so hard and our people want the change which we are offering.”
The former President and the NDI team also met with chairman of the
National Elections Commission (NEC) Jerome George Korkoya and emphasised the need for a transparent, free and fair elections.
Last week Jonathan noted that the elections ”represent a historic moment for Liberia, as the country will have the first opportunity for a peaceful transfer of power from one democratically-elected president to another. These polls would also mark the end of tenure for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female democratically-elected president in Africa.”
The Liberian presidential election was held on 10th October and featured twenty candidates. The former soccer star topped the poll with 39 percent of the vote while Vice President Joseph Boakai came in second with 29.1 percent.
Because neither candidate won 50 percent in the first round, the two will face off in a run off.