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Editorial: Applauding the NPP and NUDP

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It was all over for the entire 2011 General and Presidential and Run-off elections when the National Elections Commission, through its Acting Chairman, on Tuesday announced the final results. Following the announcement, NEC declared the incumbent, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her Deputy, Joseph Nyemah Boakai as President-elect and Vice President-elect of the Republic of Liberia for the next six years.

Immediately after Tuesday’s declaration by the National Elections Commission, a few opposition political leaders, on behalf of their respective institutions gave recognition and extended congratulations to President-elect Sirleaf and Vice President-elect Boakai.

Notably among these opposition leaders were Senator Prince Y. Johnson, Standard Bearer of the National Union for democratic Progress or NUDP, who collaborated with President Sirleaf and her Unity party and Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, Standard Bearer of the National Patriotic Party, who also collaborated with the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC in both elections.

Despite what political and other differences they may have had with President Sirleaf and her ruling establishment, Senators Johnson and Taylor, as well as their respective parties chose to take the first step, through their congratulatory messages, by creating the enabling environment for a national political dialogue among Liberian political parties and other groups.

Harboring the strongest belief that the 2011 electoral politics was now over-with and that Liberia was a serious matter of concern, the National Patriotic party, National Union for Democratic Progress and their leaders have exhibited the highest degree of patriotism, as well as shown their preparedness for any future political dialogue. This latest gain, we think, is symbolic of the cordiality which may characterize the proposed national reconciliation conference of Liberian politicians.

While we applaud Senators Johnson and Taylor, as well as their respective political parties, it also important to admonish Ambassador George Manneh Weah, the Vice Standard Bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change around whom the CDC is built to see reason in coming out of his political slumber to engage the process of political dialogue/national reconciliation as recommended by the African Union, ECOWAS and our local observer missions, and embraced by President-elect Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Ambassador Weah, Cllr. Winston A. Tubman and the CDC must understand that Liberia is the greatest that we all have and believe in, and that all must be done to preserve and cherish the hard-won peace and sanity we’ve all enjoyed for the past six years with the assistance of the international community, including the United Nations, ECOWAS, the United States and European Union.

As Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor announced Tuesday immediately following the declaration by the NEC, Liberia belongs to us all; electoral politics must now be placed at the back, while we move our country forward.

Truly, the NPP and NUDP must be commended for the bold steps taken in reminding Liberians that Liberia is all that we have, through the recognition given to Tuesday’s declaration by the National Elections Commission.

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