By: Perry B. Zordyu
The U.S. Embassy near Monrovia says, it is aware of a video circulating on social media purporting to show Chairman Oscar Bloh of the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) engaged in discussions in a political party office. The ECC has since publicly clarified that it is not Oscar Bloh in the video. Local Voices, a U.S. Embassy-supported fact checking organization, has also confirmed that it is not Oscar Bloh in the video .
The United States Embassy stressed it is also committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Liberia and around the world. “As announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on September 27, 2023 , the United States may pursue visa restrictions for those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Liberia, including through the purposeful spread of mis- or disinformation. As a result of this incident, we are actively exploring using this visa restriction authority because we view this as an example of impeding election observation efforts needed to ensure transparency.” US Charge D’Affaires Catherine Rodriguez added. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is proud to have been supporting the ECC since 2011 to provide objective and evidence-based observation of Liberia’s electoral procedures. USAID has no intention of reducing or stopping funding to the ECC based on a misleading video.
The U.S. Embassy is confident in ECC’s ability to report fairly and accurately on Liberian elections, including the upcoming presidential run-off. She lamented that the future of the country is in the hands of the Liberian people and as such they should exercise their voice and right to vote by going to the polls on November 14. The U.S. Embassy however encourages all Liberians to take the time to check their sources of information carefully. ECC has been a trusted partner and a leader in Liberia’s civil society community for over a decade. USAID stands by ECC and their commitment to promoting a free, fair, and peaceful electoral process.
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