Ms Sirleaf, 78 will be stepping down at the end of her two terms, her successor will be democratically elected in just a matter of hours. She took office in 2006, after her predecessor, Charles Taylor, was forced out of office by rebels in 2003. As Liberia heads to the polls tomorrow October 10, Ms Sirleaf has released a statement to Liberians urging peaceful conduct on election day. Read full statement below:
Statement by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia – On the Eve of Liberia’s Presidential and Legislative Elections
October 9, 2017
My Fellow Liberians,
Tomorrow, 10 October, 2017, you will go to the polls to elect a new President, and 73 members of our national legislature.
It is an historic day for our nation, and for the consolidation of Liberia’s young democracy.
For the first time in three generations, we will be transferring Presidential authority, democratically, and peacefully, from one elected leader to another.
Let us take a moment to reflect on how far we have come, as a nation, and as a people, from a society destroyed by conflict and war, to one of the most vibrant democracies in the West Africa region.
Just take a look around you at the spirit of the political campaign. The talk is heated. But debate is healthy.
People of Liberia, I congratulate you!
As you go to the polling booths tomorrow, as your President, I ask but a few things of you.
First, go to the polls peacefully, respecting every Liberian’s right to vote with dignity and pride. Embrace your neighbor, regardless of their political choice.
Second, remember that you are an empowered people, the future of the country is in your hands. No one is entitled to your vote –not because of party, ethnicity, religion or tribal affiliation.
Your loyalty is to your family, your children, and your children’s children, and their children. Vote for the person and persons you believe will make Liberia a better place.
Finally, my dear Liberians, we all must respect the outcome of the election as declared by the National Electoral Commission. The NEC has established a system that is accountable, transparent and based upon the highest standards available.
Joining the NEC to support a free and fair election will be the top international institutions, including ECOWAS, the African Union, the European Union, the National Democratic Institute and all of our international missions.
The world will be watching. Let’s make them proud!