Three Elections, Three Runoffs

THE NATIONAL ELECTIONS Commission (NEC) is expected to commence the release of preliminary results of the October 10, 2017 presidential and representatives’ elections on Wednesday, October 12.

IF THE RUNOFF holds, it would be the third time in three consecutive elections; 2005, 2011 and now 2017.

WHILE THE PROCESS is nerve rocking and leaves the nation open, it must be said that our democracy is being tested to the brink of making or missing it.

AS IT STANDS now, unconfirmed statistics from various polling centers around the country is a glaring indication that the ruling Unity Party and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change will certainly faceoff in a possible runoff,”

THESE TWO PARTIES, over the past two elections have faced off, with CDC withdrawing from the last runoff in 2011.

WHILE EACH PARTY anticipates a resounding one round victory, the preliminary results coming through media lines from across the country may not be the kinds of numbers needed for such victory.

ALTHOUGH NEC CHAIRMAN Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, told a news conference Wednesday, October 11, 2017 that the process was freely conducted despite delays in opening polling precincts and verification of names in some instances,

THE POSSIBILITY OF a 50 plus one victory may not be possible for either CDC or UP.

AT THIS JUNCTURE, Liberians are bracing themselves for one of the hottest runoff campaigns in the history of Liberian politics.

THE HOPE NOW is that Liberians will embrace yet another runoff without violence.

THE ELECTION WAS impressive, it shows that our democracy is gaining strength and that the nation is moving in the right direction.

THREE NOTEWORTHY ELECTIONS, three runoffs, Liberia is on the move, especially if a run off can successfully be conducted, that is violence free.


Amb. Ruhle Presents Letter of Credence …..To Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma

Liberia’s newly accredited Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Sierra Leone has pledged to work tirelessly and in concert with officials of that Government, to further solidify the already excellent relations subsisting between both countries and peoples.

“The natural ties that bind our two peoples transcend the physical boundaries. Liberia and Sierra Leone have so much in common: culture, language and tradition, among others,” she said.

Highlighting the two countries’ shared experiences, she stressed that today, both countries are applauded for their courage, strength and resilience. “Our countries are considered to be tested and positively evolving democracies; success stories of post-conflict recovery and firmly committed to peacebuilding and inclusive socio-economic development,” she added.

According to a dispatch from Freetown, Liberia’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Mrs. Musu Jatu Ruhle, made the statement when she presented her Letters of Credence to the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma at State House recently.

Ambassador Ruhle succeeds Ambassador Jarjar M. Kamara, who has been appointed Senior Ambassador-at-Large, Republic of Liberia.

She indicated that the close relations nurtured between Presidents Sirleaf and Koroma have cascaded to the peoples of both countries. “It is no surprise that the volume of cross border trade has increased significantly, involving imported goods and locally produced agricultural food items. Trade fairs on either side of the border are regularly attended by marketers from both countries. Security networks along our border are united in formulating strategies that foster peace, security and integration,” she emphasized.

Ambassador Ruhle stressed that while the natural integration of peoples of both countries is a welcome phenomenon, she looks forward to strengthening cooperation with Sierra Leone as the world is becoming more challenging as criminals engage in transnational crimes, including drug and human trafficking, smuggling of goods and small arms.

She also highlighted the Mano River Union which has given confidence to its member states and provided a mechanism by which simultaneous infrastructural growth can be developed and sustained in the sub-region. “We look forward to collaborating with your government for the implementation of projects beneficial to the people of the Union. The ongoing initiatives for construction of road network, peacebuilding, security and environmental protection and progress towards the establishment of a sub-regional framework to sustain and ensure peaceful democratic transition in member states, all offer prospects for a brighter future,” she added.

Accepting Ambassador Ruhle’s credentials, Sierra Leone’s President, His Excellency Dr. Koroma first appreciated the warm sentiments and fraternal greetings extended to him, the Government and people of Sierra Leone by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

He indicated that both countries have long standing bilateral relations built on a platform of mutual trust respect for sovereignty and the belief that all nations have the right to aspire for prosperity and peaceful co-existence. “Both countries have gone through turbulent times with civil wars in the 1990s and the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014 – 2015,” he recounted.

President Koroma assured Ambassador Ruhle of his personal support and that of his Government and people in the accomplishment of her mission. “I also wish to acknowledge your desire to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between Sierra Leone and Liberia and to chart other areas of cooperation that will be beneficial to our two peoples,” he said.

He noted that Liberia, in recent times, witnessed the plummeting of its post-war GDP that were unarguably and admirably the best but unfortunately not resilient enough to stem the fallouts from the outbreaks.

However, he stressed that the fortitude, patience and hope have paid off as both countries weathered the various storms; noting that in spite of such difficulties, they both have also celebrated years of democratic maturity, peace, security and stability; respect for human rights; and manifested, with tangible evidence, their aspirations for the attainment of sustainable and inclusive development.

On the democratic front, President Koroma said both countries, from the end of conflict at the turn of the century, have observed and enjoyed peaceful democratic transitions, and are on the verge of conducting elections, which hopefully and certainly, would receive local and global acclaims as well as accolades as being peaceful, transparent and fair.

On the global front, he said, as developing countries, both have had convergent views in their global engagements.

He used the opportunity to again on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone express deep sense of gratitude to President Sirleaf, the Government and people of Liberia for the outpouring of condolence messages, financial resources, medical and emotional support following the August 14 mudslides and flooding disaster that claimed the lives of an uncountable number of his compatriots while wreaking untold havoc in the hillside communities.