The New Dawn on Monday, November 8, 2010 published a front page lead story captioned: AU Predicts 2011: Ellen vs Weah. In that story, we quoted the African Union as predicting that there would be a re-run of the 2005 Presidential Election run-off.
The Union indicated that the 2011 battle for the nation’s highest post would be between incumbent President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Ambassador George Weah.
In its lastest report titled “Early Warning,” the AU Peace and Security Council noted that despite the large number of Presidential hopefuls, the contest is likely to narrow down between Sirleaf and Weah, and the former may emerge the winner. According to the AU statement, incumbency—a very important, event an overwhelmingly important factor in Liberia—may yet tilt the seales in favor of Mrs. Sirleaf.
While we welcome the “early warning” by the continental body, we also wish to register our refusal to concur that there would be a repetition of the run-off of 2006 in 2011. Considering the emerging new variables in Liberian politics, we foresee no run-off between President Sirleaf and Ambassador Weah.
While we may not be abreast of the yardstick used by our African Union brothers to determine their prediction, we must also inform them about the impossibility for Ambassador Weah to repeat what he did in 2005 taking into accounts the changing political realities between that time and 2011.
As a result of these realities, we believe, this is why the political leader of the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC continues to move from one coalition to another, thus creating confusion among his thousands of supporters. Ambassador Weah is of the realization that he can no longer venture into the presidential race as a single political party and candidate and win.
This is why he may have initiated a grand coalition to be known as the Coalition for Democratic Change, and later decided again to forge an alliance with Clrr. Charles Brumskine and his Liberty in Accra, Ghana.
The African Union must be informed that with the various mergers( the Unity Party, Liberia Action Party and a fragment of the Liberia Unification Party) and alliances/coalitions (CDC, NPP, LINU, PRODEMP and others), we see no reason why we must have a run-off between Madam Sirleaf and Ambassador Weah.
What we do acquiesce with is the issue of incumbency as raised by the AU. We do, and solely agree that this issue plays a very vital role in the battle for the nation’s top post. No matter how strong is the opposition, the incumbent most often emerge victorious owing to the fact that he/she is in direct control of everything under the domain of state power, including all of the resources of the nation.
In the case of Madam Sirleaf, it is clear that she may win the 2011 Presidential election, but under a great deal of difficulties. Perhaps, that’s why she’s doing what she’s presently doing.