Dear Chairman Bryant:
The Liberia Campaign for Out of Country Voting for All Liberians, comprising of Liberian church and community organizations, ordinary Liberians, friends of Liberia in the United States and around the world, joins with tens of thousands of Liberians and friends of Liberia around the world, in calling for out of country voting for all Liberian citizens in the Liberia’s historic post-war national elections scheduled to be held on Tuesday, October 11, 2005. We ask that you kindly use your constitutional authority, as the Head of State of the Republic of Liberia, representing all of the people of this great nation, both within and outside of its borders, to convince the National Election Commission, the United States Government, the United Nations, the African Union and the leadership of ECOWAS, and the entire international community, that giving all Liberians the opportunity to participate in Liberia’s October elections is an essential step in paving the way for a secured, prosperous and democratic Liberia.
At the height of the Liberian civil war, President
George Bush made the historic assessment and decisive
call for the departure of Mr. Charles Taylor as a
precondition for ending the civil war and bringing
peace to Liberia. His statement not only resulted
in Mr. Taylor’s departure, but also created
the climate for subsequent talks and the signing of
a peace agreement among Liberia’s warring factions.
You became the Chairman of the National Transitional
Government of Liberia
as a result of these historic decisions. Liberia has enjoyed relative peace and stability during this period, and is well on its way to developing a stable society, where all of its people can live in peace and aspire to the height of their God-given abilities.
We believe that the prospects for peace in Liberia will be enhanced greatly if Liberians living abroad are given an equal opportunity to vote for their future leaders as their fellow citizens living in country. Many of these Liberians, forced to flee their nation because of corrupt and inept leadership, have longed for the opportunity to contribute their quota for a better future. They have sacrificed their own financial well being to provide for family members in harms-way and thus have contributed in sustaining their country’s economy during the fateful years of violent conflict. We know this from personal stories from members of our churches and community organizations and the many ordinary Liberians living in the Diaspora and at home. Giving them a chance to vote for new leaders would be a fitting reward for their dedication to their fellow citizens, their love for their country and their great hope for democracy.
What a beautiful picture it would be, Mr. Chairman,
to have Liberians queuing up in American cities and
in cities in Europe, Canada and Africa to peacefully
and democratically choose their next leaders. This
will contrast greatly with the not too long ago scenes
of street fighting and throngs of Liberians fleeing
as factional leaders sought to gain political power
by sheer force and violence.
We ask you, Mr. Chairman, to provide the moral leadership and requisite assistance for the freedom loving people of Liberia around the world to begin the process of healing and rebuilding a truly democratic Liberia, by voting in their country’s democratic national elections.
Within this vein, we ask that you kindly grant an audience to a delegation of Liberian citizens to meet with you to discuss this very pressing, urgent and important matter regarding the future of our beloved Liberia, during your current visit to the United States. We feel that it is providential that you will be in the Washington, DC area on May 26, 2005, during the very time that our delegation will be making a planned visit with members of the United States Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, to discuss the very important matter of Out of Country Voting for All Liberians. A meeting with you will be quite essential in allowing us to discuss with you a number of similar requests from Liberian groups such as the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas and the Liberian Absentee Ballot Organization, among others. We have it on good authority that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Federation for Electoral Systems (IFES) have prepared a blueprint by which the Out of Country Voting could be facilitated expeditiously. We have enclosed copies of the above blueprint as well as letters to you and the Election commission from Mr. Arthur Watson, President of the Union of Liberian Association in the Americas, requesting your support and consideration for out of country voting for all Liberians. Mr. Chairman, Thousands of Liberians and friends of Liberia are prepared to work with our Government, the United States and the United Nations to develop the resources and the corps of volunteers needed to implement this very vital undertaking for the people and nation of Liberia. If we fail to exploit this historic and unprecedented opportunity to grant Liberians their “Human and Civil Rights” to participate in their first post-war elections, history might not judge us too kindly. We feel, Mr. Chairman, that it is incumbent upon you and we ask that you rise to this historic occasion, and do your fellow citizens justice by advocating and defending their right to participate in their national elections scheduled to be held on October 11, 2005.
We thank you, Mr. Chairman, for consenting to steer our nation during this very difficult period of our national life and we ask that you exercise the moral leadership in affording all Liberians the opportunity to participate in their historic national elections scheduled for October 11, 2005. We can assure you that should this occur, you would be heralded as one of Africa’s finest leaders who helped greatly in restoring his nation, Liberia, to her place as a shining star in Africa and a proud member of the global community. The opportunity is yours, Chairman Bryant, please seize the moment and do your country proud. We expect nothing less of you.
May God bless you Chairman Bryant, and May God Bless Liberia.
With kind regards and best wishes,
Rev. Napoleon L. Divine, Ed.D.
Pastor/ Christ International Baptist Church
General Coordinator/ The Liberia Campaign for Out of Country Voting for All Liberians
Rev. Hne P. S. Nyemah, Chairman
Liberia Christian Community Organization of Washington Metropolitan Area