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Editorial

Calls to Halt New Concessions Genuine, But Unfair, Undemocratic

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Democratic elections in Liberia are scheduled for October 2017 – just under two years now.

By then, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf second six-year term would have ended. Ahead of the aforementioned, eye-brows are being raised at the investment policy of the Liberian Government as it relates new concessions or purchase of the country’s natural resources and

increasing level of debts. At the core of these arguments is the opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, which recently called on the current government to refrain from further selling the Liberia’s natural resources because it had less than two years in power.

Since the inception of the administration more than 10 years now, according to the CDC, concessions in mining, forestry and other sectors of the economy have amounted to US$16bn, without any tangible socio-economic impact.

Even though the issue being raised by the CDC and others may be genuine, calling on the Government of Liberia to halt all new concessions only because it has less than two years is not only unfair to men and women of conscious minds, but inimical to democratic values.

The administration was duly elected for a six-year term to conduct the affairs of state, including the economy, and until the completion of such tasks, it would be foolhardy for anyone or institution to tell the government to stop all negotiations for new concessions – this is far from the reality. If the current administration should agree to the call, how do the CDC and others expect the economy to run in favour of socio-economic developments for the next two years?

The issue about the increasing country’s debt as raised by the party and others is something also debatable and just a matter of discussion, but for the government to stop crediting is unrealistic. Even if the government had “a minute” left, it has all of the legitimacies as assigned by the Liberian Constitution to exercise authority.

What many had really thought the CDC and others would have opted for is the issue of accountability when the administration’s remaining two years shall have expired in January of 2018, i.e, a comprehensive audit of the entire system so as to understand the ‘inability of the government to impact the socio-economic well-being of Liberians amid the huge concessions’ for its twelve years in power – that’s what the party and others should be opting for at the moment, other than thriving on such undemocratic path.

 

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