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Liberian president says country is at risk of political instability

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President George Manneh Weah has said Liberia is beginning to witness the emergence of a creeping threat to its democratic space, hard-won peace and stability, despite current peace.

According to him, some individuals in the country who have lost democratically-held elections have resorted to incitement, threats of violence, misuse of social media, and hate speech, with the aim and objective of achieving power through undemocratic means.

“This is unacceptable and must not be encouraged by those who would wish Liberia well. For democracy to thrive, all Liberians, including both the ruling party and the opposition parties, must respect the rule of law, and abide by the procedures and regulations prescribed therein,” President Weah said on Wednesday, 25 September 2019, in his speech at the seventy-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

He therefore called on politicians in the country to learn to respect the mandates of the electorates, even when it is not in their favour and not be selective in their support for democracy only when they
win.

The Liberian leader at the same time called on Liberians at home and abroad to take responsibility in maintaining the peace that the country currently enjoys, noting that without peace the country
cannot make progress in its development agenda.

“All Liberians, therefore, have a responsibility to maintain the peace that we now enjoy, especially those of you who desire to be future leaders of Liberia; remember it was the love of liberty that
established us as a country. It was our unity that made us the first independent African Republic, and it will take our joint efforts to sustain the peace, develop and reconcile our nation and gain economic
stability,” President Weah stressed..

According to the Liberian leader, since becoming President he has attached the greatest importance to maintaining the country’s peace because “without peace, our world will be difficult. We are all aware of the terrible destruction of lives and properties caused by our civil war.”

He added that since assuming the leadership of the country, his government has committed itself to upholding the constitutional mandate which, according to him, is to ensure that the democratic
rights of Liberian citizens be guaranteed and protected.

“I am proud to say that I have kept this promise, and our country is today a beacon of democracy in Africa, where freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of association and other political and democratic rights are respected, under the rule of law,” President Weah stated.

He in a related development said: “The political environment remains vibrant, with political actors and parties freely exercising their franchise and participating in various elections. Mr. President (of
the UNGA), I am delighted to report that there are no political prisoners in Liberia, and existing laws that hindered or threatened press freedom have been de-criminalized.”

The Liberian Chief Executive indicated that the several protests which have taken place in Liberia

since his ascendancy to the presidency ended peacefully and his government welcomed such action as a positive manifestation of the country’s democratic maturity.

 – APA

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