Liberian electorate would have the headache of choosing among 30 political parties in deciding which one is elected in 2017 to govern the tiny West African country of 4 million people ravage in illiteracy, poverty and misery.
But the Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya,believes the fact that Liberians have taken interest in formation of political parties, is a positive sign for the democratization of the country.
During the last two presidential elections conducted in 2005 and 2011, about two dozen candidates vied for the nation’s highest office, but none were strong enough to win in the first round of polling thus, consecutively leading to runoffs between the Unity Party of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Congress for Democratic Change of Senator George MannehWeah.
Speaking recently during the certification of the newest Liberia People Democratic Party or LPDP in Monrovia, Cllr. Korkoya said political parties should play the role of speaking and defending rights of Liberians.
He called on the LPDP and other registered political parties here to bolster the work of the Commission by contributing substantially towards the sustenance of democracy in Liberia.
Chairman Korkoya urged political parties to begin engaging in regular voter’s education that would generate mass citizens’ participation in electoral activities, adding that such activities would help build confidence in the country’s fledgling democracy.
According to the NEC Chairman, the accreditation of the PDPL is a result of the party’s fulfillment of all requirements associated with the registration of a political party as required by the laws of Liberia.
LPDP chairman, Cllr. Henry Gogba, said the party is confident, “because we have come to offer Liberians new hope and the best deal ever for the governance of the country.”
“We have noticed that Liberians are anxiously looking forward to a period in their lives when increased gross national product can be visibly seen in their lives, especially rural district dwellers.”
He said the party has emerged to articulate the anxiety of Liberians in order to ensure that government creates a balance between urban and rural dwellers.
Cllr. Gogba said the LPDP has also noticed how deeply Liberians have come to appreciate fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of speech and freedom of the press, adding that these freedoms will be accompanied with economic freedom as well.
Gogba, who once served as Deputy Transport Minister in the Sirleaf Administration, said his party has noticed the love for democracy in Liberia and therefore, has come to make it more meaningful to the extent that practically there would be a government for the people, of the people and by the people.
“In this light, we shall push forward to achieve decentralization of powers and some autonomy to the 73 electoral districts. This party has emerged with detailed understanding of the workings of the three branches of government and is fully equipped with the understanding of grassroots or constituents’ problems,” he promised. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Editing by Jonathan Browne