February 25, 2024

Boakai Delivers First Public

AFTER DECLARED WINNER OF LIBERIA’S 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Paynesville, Montserrado County – Full Speech of Boakai

My fellow citizens, dear Liberians, on November 17th, 2023, I received a call from President George Manneh Weah to congratulate me. I want to thank him for being gracious in his concession after what will go down as one of the most closely contested elections in Liberia’s political history.

He and his Coalition for Democratic Change fought hard, but there can only be one winner in an election. Liberia, by this democratic tradition, is a new model to the world.

You, the people of Liberia, have spoken, and words are inadequate to express my feelings of gratitude to you. You have placed your trust in me to lead with the demand for the change you want. And that change begins now!

I call on all Liberians to join hands to exploit the full potential of a country of promise. We must join in the transformation that will lift our people out of the many economic and social inequities and injustices they have been subjected to for many years.

Today, I would like to first of all thank God for his grace in granting me this opportunity. I also thank Him for giving me strength, good health, fortitude, and wisdom on this journey. I thank my family, especially Kartumu, my dear wife of over fifty years, and my children and other extended family relations, friends, and colleagues who stood with me through thick and thin.

To my running mate and Vice President-elect, Jeremiah Koung, I thank you. For you stood by me and fought a good fight. My appreciation goes to the Chairperson and members of the campaign team, as well as the many men, women, and young people across the country and in the Diaspora who rode the “Rescue Train” on this great journey of national renewal. To those who initiated and advocated for protection of the votes and to the professionals and technicians who set up and manned the infrastructure to protect the votes of the people, I am doubly thankful for your dedication, commitment, and hard work.

I would also like to thank members of the great Unity Party Alliance and other political parties and their leaders who endorsed us. You will be remembered for placing Liberia above personal ambition and interest. I salute your patriotism!

We remain eternally grateful to the International Community (United States, European Union and the diplomatic community) for accompanying us on this journey. We praise our regional compatriots from the African Union, ECOWAS, Mano River Union for demonstrating true solidarity. You prove that a universal ideal can be achieved with collective determination.

My fellow citizens, I believe these elections were a watershed moment in the history of Liberia for two reasons. First, it demonstrated the power of the Liberian people and their commitment to the democratic process no matter where threats came from.

Second, these elections showed the progress we have made since the end of the war to maintain our peace and consolidate the foundations of multiparty democracy.

We have signalled to the region and the world at large that we will be a great example of a working democracy that many will emulate.

The elections are now over and we must come together as one people to rebuild our country. There are no green Liberians or blue Liberians, western Liberians or southeastern Liberians, north central Liberians or southern Liberians. There is only one Liberia, citizens of the oldest republic in Africa! All of us have won. What has happened in our democracy over the last 4 days is a win for Liberia, and will be a legacy for us as a people and marked in posterity forever. We will no longer be known for war, but for the peace that has prevailed in our country.

We must, therefore, embrace each other, be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat. Politics should not define us. What should define us is our collective resolve to transform our country for the good of everyone including future generations.

I promise to extend development across this country including building the roads of our beautiful region of southeastern Liberia, which for years has suffered the fate of rural neglect. So, I implore all Liberians, irrespective of their ethnic background, county, religion, and political party affiliations to join us on this journey to rescue our country.

The hard work to rebuild starts now. The challenges of this country must be confronted immediately and head-on to create an equal future for all Liberians and succeeding generations. We must leave no stone unturned to address and remove the economic, social, and political disparities that undermine our potential. Our country is not poor; the problem with our country is bad leadership in all facets of society including the institutions of the state.

I promise to lead by example! I promise a Liberia that will benefit all Liberians. The Liberian state will no longer be used as a predatory tool by and for a few to the detriment of the majority of the people.

We will promote broad participation of the people, including those in rural communities, in the decision-making process.

To you the people of Liberia, you have spoken loud and clear and I have heard you. We will establish a responsible and accountable government. We will address the major problem of corruption in government especially in high places.

In this regard, I will announce a transitional team in the next few days to work on a transitional plan. We will start working immediately with the outgoing government for a smooth and peaceful transition. We will work with the current administration to assess the current state of affairs, determine the necessary actions to respond to challenges, build on any progress, and prevent any disruptions to a smooth and successful transition.

To our Mano River neighbours’, the West African region, and the international community at large including the global business community, we open our arms to you for effective cooperation for the good of our respective peoples. We are, therefore, announcing our intentions to the world that with the mandate of the people of Liberia to lead, we intend to actively participate in global affairs and restore our respectability and dignity as one of the oldest states in the world.

Meanwhile, in recent years, there have been accounts of several mysterious deaths and disappearances. Over the period of the campaign and the struggle, many Liberians and some of our partisans lost their lives. We regret the loss of all our compatriots and we offer our prayers for the peaceful repose of their souls.

Which is why, our tribute to the families of those who lost their valuable lives is to embark on a drastic security and justice reform to bring relief to the families of the many victims, but also to lay the pathway to achieving a society where the rule of law reigns.

On Monday, November 20, 2023, our nation was gripped by a tragic event that occurred at our party’s headquarters which led to the loss of valuable lives and caused serious injuries of our partisans. Our partisans were peacefully celebrating the announcement of the final results of the run-off elections. On yesterday, November 21, 2023, we visited our wounded partisans at the John F. Kennedy Hospital and sympathized with the families of our partisans who lost their lives and assured them that a thorough investigation will be conducted by the Liberia National Police and justice will be dispensed. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who lost their lives. The Unity Party and all her alliance members are asked to begin a period of 3 days mourning for the victims. We want to thank the doctors and nurses who are providing them care.

Finally, as we look forward to taking the realms of state authority on January 22, 2024, I ask all Liberians to join and work with us as we lead the rebuilding of our country. The progress of this country is undermined by the lack of sound and honest leadership. It is this leadership we promise the Liberian people as we together build a country with a vision aimed at promoting a functional and equitable society for generations to come.

Join me as we begin our journey together on the difficult and rocky road to develop our nation, let us all resolve Think Liberia, Love Liberia, and Build Liberia!

May God bless us all and save our country.

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