Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, the Presidential candidate of the Liberian People’s Party, has conceded defeat as preliminary results from the October 10 polls put him out of the contest, ensuring a nail-biting two-horse contest between President George Weah and veteran politician Joseph Boakai.
In an address to the public on Thursday, October 12, Gongloe, a respected legal figure, said that while his political party has campaigned on policy issues, it is clear that the elections will be won either by the President or his main political opponent, Boakai.
Citing data from his poll watchers, Gongloe conceded defeat as his presidential campaign would not receive the number of votes needed to win the election or cruise to the runoff.
“From the results thus far, the Liberian people decided to vote for the current ruling party and the former ruling party,” the lawyer-turned politician said yesterday while conceding defeat. “The decision of the Liberian people is not a reflection of the failure of the other parties to campaign.”
“We can say without any fear of contradiction that our party, the Liberian People’s Party (LPP), campaigned tirelessly across Liberia and explained its ten-point ‘Better Liberia Agenda’ to the Liberian people,” Gongloe added.
He noted that while he has campaigned on strengthening the rule of law, combating corruption, providing critical life-changing social services, and decentralizing the economy, the Liberian people have seen it fitting to continue the political dominance of the two parties.
According to Gongloe, initial results announced by the National Elections Commission clearly show that the election is a two-horse race and will be won by either the opposition Unity Party or the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.
His concession comes as results from 389 polling places out of 5,860 show him trailing behind Boakai and Weah with 4,483 (3.59%). The numbers, sources close to Gongloe believe, will likely increase, placing him third or fourth. It would not do much to change the trend of the elections, fueling his drive to concede early on, becoming the first presidential candidate to do so.
The ongoing election tally has so far demonstrated a neck-and-neck race between Weah, a former international football superstar, and Boakai, a seasoned politician who has served as Vice President of Liberia. Both candidates have strong followings as a result of their political name recognition.
“While the reports on the legislative election are still scanty, we can safely say that in the presidential election, the Liberian people have spoken, and we respect their decision,” Gongloe said. “Therefore, we call upon all of our partisans and non-partisans who supported us to accept our decision and remain calm and peaceful.
“We have gathered from our poll watchers and other sources that our party is not one of the two parties that are likely to win. It is clear that the presidential election will be won by either the Unity Party or the ruling party,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gongloe, who was the country’s first postwar Solicitor General, has strongly warned losers of the October 10 polls from engaging in acts that “undermine the peace of Liberia.”
According to Gongloe, no one in Liberia or any party is more important than the election. As such, it is important that “all losers accept the final result of the election when announced in the next few days by the National Elections Commission.”
“No party, group, or individual should do anything to undermine the peace of Liberia,” he said. “We sympathize with the families of those who lost their lives in pre-election violence over the last few weeks and call on everyone to use the legal process instead of violence to seek redress for any complaints they may have about the election result.”
Gongloe, whose campaign offers an alternative to the traditional political landscape, campaigned on the principles of accountability, transparency, and the rule of law. He claimed that while his presidential bid has been rejected by Liberians for now, he and his campaign symbol, the “Broom,” are not going anywhere, as “a better Liberia is only possible with the broom.”
Gongloe and his Liberian People’s Party have, among other things, promised during the campaign period to deploy the Armed Forces of Liberia to solve the country’s food crisis, starting with 100 acres of rice farms in each of the fifteen counties.
He also promised that if elected, his administration would review the records of the General Auditing Commission audits to prosecute cases of corruption and would not interfere with the judiciary and the police. He was going to introduce legislation to make “interference by government officials a felony.”
Source: Liberian Observer