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CDA Catherine Rodriguez Remarks for November 9 Radio Interviews
November 9, 2023

(As prepared)

Good morning to everyone across Liberia:

Last month, I spoke with you about Liberia’s national elections and the importance of exercising your right to vote, and to do so freely, fairly, and peacefully. Today, I want to congratulate the people of Liberia on the peaceful execution of elections on October 10. Not only have I read reports from observers and local organizations that recognize the broad participation of Liberians and the generally peaceful atmosphere at polling stations across the country, but I saw this for myself when I went out to observe multiple polling stations in District 7. The impressively high turnout of voters shows your determination and dedication to the future of your beloved country.

Next week, you will have the opportunity to select your President and Vice President for the next six years in the runoff election.  More than ever it’s important to use your voice and your vote to make the right choice for you and your family’s future.  Continue to talk to your friends and family about the future of your beloved Liberia.  Think about what you want for this country in the next 6 years and into the future.  Listen to what the candidates are offering.

Your right to vote is the most valuable tool a democracy offers for charting your family’s destiny.  Don’t squander that very important right by not voting.  Go vote and make your voice heard once again through the ballot box.

In an effort to help Liberia keep the elections free, fair, and peaceful, the U.S. and the members of the international community will be observing these elections at polling and tabulation centers.  The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced before the last round of elections that we will impose visa restrictions on anyone who undermines Liberia’s democratic process.

For elections to be free and fair, they must be peaceful. That is why we must always condemn violence and stop the spread of rumors and disinformation.  The best way to do that is by NOT amplifying hateful messages, NOT retweeting, reposting, or publishing on social media and other platforms what the perpetrators of violence say or do.   Above all, reject calls for violence and remember that the best way to resolve your differences is peacefully through the ballot box.

To ensure another peaceful round of elections, we urge the Government of Liberia to make sure the joint security task force is provided its full budget. This is needed to secure the safety of voters, polling staff, and the general public.

The United States continues to look to the National Elections Commission as the electoral authority and for the official results of the elections.   It is important that people get their information from official sources.

As your oldest and one of your closest international partners, we wish Liberia and all its citizens free, fair, and peaceful elections.