Liberians have performed their civic duties to determine both their personal and corporate futures. For a country whose past has been riddled with turbulence and ethnic rivalries, the African swing in such a setting is to expect clashes.
This is further reinforced by the usual trend where states with plural ethnicities are wont to losing focus of national ideals for inter-ethnic supremacies.
The fact that the electoral commission of Liberia was presented with a total of twenty (20) presidential candidates is more than suggestive of possibilities of an ethnic championship setting. Among these are former footballer Senator George Weah, Vice President Joseph Boakai, former rebel leader Prince Johnson and the only woman in the race, former model Macdella Cooper.
However, the role of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in re-uniting the country after the civil wars is an indicator to a sense of political understanding by the people showing much civil responsibility during the electoral process.
Of the 4.6 million populace, it is on record that 2,183,683 people registered to participate in the voting process which was going to include the nominations and aspirations of 986 prospecting politicians to the offices of 73 members of the House of Representatives.
Aside from such humorous public banter like the one between George Weah and Vice-President Boakai where Weah alleged he was being castigated as a footballer in aspiring to political office which was neither here nor there during the campaign period, there was little to show that the populace as well as Liberians were in the mood to be drawn into unhealthy political brawls.
The elections came and went and there might have been the usual election hiccups that characterise the topography of the African landscape all tied to logistics but only one was reported – the incident at a polling center in Nimba County where voting was disrupted. But that is not strange to Africa alone as it does apply to countries in the west but largely mitigated the technological advantages.
Yes, it was reported that in some places, voters asked for more time. The beauty of this complaint is in the fact that a large majority of Liberians turned out to vote. Turnout was about two million voters on Tuesday to elect a successor to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president in Africa. This strenghtens the possibility of a truly vox populi when the results are released thoughout the 5,390 voting centers, 2080 voting precincts.
However, the Electoral Commission has said that a new date will be set for voting at the center where election materials were quarantined.
The election observation missions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) jointly commended Liberia for conducting a smooth voting process devoid of any major incidents.
In fact, the Chairman of the ECOWAS mission, former Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama had said, in a joint press conference on Wednesday, that the counting and tallying process was done in a transparent manner.
“Thus far, given the environment before, during the polls and sorting process, Liberia is on track to achieving a credible poll,” he said.
His sentiments was shared by the leader of the AU mission, former AU Deputy Chairperson Erastus J. O. Mwencha who said “thus far, the election can be characterized as peaceful”.
“We hope the political environment doesn’t change drastically,” he added.
Mahama also commended the security forces for curbing pockets of violence during the polls, he read to journalists in Monrovia as part of the mission’s preliminary report.
Mahama said the National Elections Commission (NEC) has committed to hold another credible election in the event that there’s no clear winner.
The electoral commission has not released provisional results by close of day Wednesday as vote tallying was ongoing. And also as at the time of our going to press.
Can there be a maturity of democratic processes justifying Liberia as Africa’s oldest democracy?
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