The Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS, has described as “unfortunate” the decision by Liberia`s main opposition to boycott the November 8 presidential runoff and urged Liberians to go to the polls.
ECOWAS cautioned the country’s political leaders against inciting their supporters to violence and vowed to endorse any result that would emanate the poll that would be certified by international observers.
The 15-nation bloc’s stance came after the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party candidate Winston Tubman, who was set to contest the run-off against incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, issued a statement calling on supporters and Liberians in general to boycott the runoff.
The party also warned President Sirleaf against going ahead with the poll, hinting of mass action by its supporters.
“The Ecowas Commission regards this statement as unfortunate, as it is intended to undermine the election and the democratic process that Liberians are striving hard to consolidate,” the bloc late Saturday said in a statement signed by its president, James Victor Gbeho.
“It also goes against the grain of the discussions that Ambassador Tubman held with the chairman of the [ECOWAS] Authority.”
Mrs Sirleaf in a national address Saturday accused Mr Tubman of violating the country’s constitution by calling for the boycott and urged Liberians to disregard the call.
“Mr Winston Tubman has called on Liberians to give up their franchise, their right to vote. He has told people to violate the constitution … When you start violating the constitution, where do you stop?” Mrs Sirleaf asked.