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Liberia Elections: ECOWAS Demands Retraction of Bribery Allegation

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it reserves its right to hold Mo Ali, the National Campaign Spokesperson of Liberia’s main opposition party, Unity Party, accountable for some bribery allegations he made against the ECOWAS Observer Mission last week.

The ECOWAS Commission in a statement described the allegation as “scurrilous” and wants the statement denounced by the opposition party plus an apology and retraction from the issuer.

It notes that the allegation has the propensity to put at risk the Mission’s integrity and physical safety.

“The ECOWAS Observer Mission calls on the leadership of the Unity Party to denounce the statement made by its National Campaign Spokesperson that seeks to denigrate the image of ECOWAS. The ECOWAS Observer Mission challenges Mo Ali to prove his scurrilous accusation or publicly withdraw it immediately or tender in an unqualified apology.

“Failing this, the ECOWAS Observer Mission and the ECOWAS Commission reserve the right to employ all necessary right all necessary measures to hold him personally accountable for his utterance.”

Liberians went to the polls on Friday, November 10, 2023, to elect a President, however, none of the candidates managed to garner more than 50% of the votes.

This means President George Weah and UP candidate Joseph Boakai will go for a rerun after they respectively obtained 43.83% and 43.44%.

Mo Ali subsequently took to Facebook to allege an amount of US$150,000 had been given to the ECOWAS Observer Mission by the ruling party to endorse purported fake results in the runoff.

The former General Secretary of the opposition party wrote, “At about this afternoon, the very top echelon of the CDC government met and discussed about the runoff election and its outcome. In the meeting, they agreed that they can’t win against the UP. Hence they want to prevail on the NEC commissioners to announce result in their (CDC) favor.

“As part of the plan, they have disbursed US$150,000 (US$ one hundred fifty thousand) to ECOWAS Delegates here to monitor the elections. The money to the ECOWAS Delegates is intended to induce them to quickly endorse the fake results by stating that such rigged process was free, fair and credible.”

But in a later post on Sunday, Ali took back his words saying, “On November 10, 2023 I made a post relative to the Government of Liberia allegedly disbursing US$150,000 to ECOWAS Delegates with the purpose of affirming would be rigged results from the runoff elections. Our findings have shown that the Government of Liberia did meet and make a plan to disburse said amount.

“However, it is important to clarify that NO CONTACT was made with ECOWAS ELECTION MONITORS and NO DISBURSEMENT OF CASH was made to them. We applaud ECOWAS for their continuing contribution to the consolidation of our democracy and we call on them to incessantly work in such direction.”

The run-off will take place on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.

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