My brother Liberian President Samuel Doe is not an African despot clinging to power, as some in the media would like to believe. In fact, President Doe has called for an early election to grant the people of Liberia a chance to vote openly for their choice. He publicly asked the United Nations, the Carter Center and most recently the Liberian Council of Churches to mediate the elections. When the legislature in Liberia refused to grant the president early elections, he once again assured the Liberian people that he only wished peace for Liberia and would not run for reelection.

The obvious question is: Why doesn't President Doe leave the country today? The simple answer is that to resign his presidency would no doubt throw our small African state of Liberia into a bloodbath, pitting Liberians against Liberians in an ethnic struggle. The presence of President Doe's trained forces inside Monrovia acts as a stabilizing element in a city where the people are terrified of repercussions from Charles Taylor's ruthless, undisciplined army.

The immediate issue at hand is why do the rebel forces continue to massacre the innocent people of Liberia. The answer lies in that fact that it is not a question of replacing Samuel Doe but of replacing a class of people. This is evident by rebel leader Mr. Taylor's horrendous massacre in Buchanan. President Doe cannot resign the people of Liberia to the fate of the Libyan-backed Mr. Taylor, who has said he will not hold open and free elections for at least three to five years and to this day continues to massacre innocent people to achieve his ends.

CHAYEE DOE Washington