It appears like the Vice Standard bearer of the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, Mr. George Weah is setting an agenda that could lead this country into another doom, if he does not stop making utterances that could undermine the conduct of peaceful elections here.
The CDC icon over the weekend threatened to take to task anyone who will rob his party of victory in the upcoming elections, insisting that this 2011 election is for the CDC. He repeated his famous claim that his CDC was cheated in 2005 by the National Elections Commission or NEC in favor of the Unity Party and as he said in March of this year, “defeat is not an option for the CDC.”
What Mr. Weah is telling his followers here is that they have already won the 2011 elections without the first ballot being cast and that all they are waiting for is the formalities that will take them to the Executive Mansion and anything short of that will be unacceptable. As he said in March this year, there will be the repeat of the Ivorian situation here if there were any changes in the unforeseen results of the pending elections -meaning any result that would award the presidency to a party other than the CDC.
“We from the opposition end, especially the mighty Congress for Democracy Change believed that Chairman James Fromayan is not capable enough to lead the country to the ensuing October elections which many consider critical. Many people believed that Chairman Fromayan commission does not enjoy the confidence of the people any longer….“if Fromayan and the rest of the commissioners stay at that Elections Commission, Liberians will not accept result in favor of the ruling Unity Party and defeat is not an option for us. Meaning they may want to change things overnight through violence and that will not be decent for our young democracy,” Weah said.
Over the weekend Mr. Weah reemphasized his threats: “2005 was a different ball game; the whole world knew that the CDC was cheated but we let it go because of you the CDCians; we wanted to see peace in Liberia….“We hope that NEC will conduct free, fair and transparent elections because anyone who will cheat us in these elections will bear the full weight of the CDC….This year is ours; 2005 was a different year for us.”
What Mr. Weah is also telling his followers here is that be prepared to oppose any result that is not in our favor because remember, they cheated us the last time and we gave in because of peace but this time we will not give in. We at the New Dawn believe that these comments by Mr. Weah are intended to build up a resistance against any result contrary to what the CDC has declared far ahead of the 2011 polls.
Such campaign style is dangerous for our budding democracy. We all saw the level of threat displayed by CDCians after the 2005 elections when George Weah out- rightly rejected the results and commanded his partisans to come on the street. It took the intervention of ECOWAS and the UN to calm the situation.
For Mr. Weah to be telling his partisans that they have already won the pending elections even without going to the ballot box is to insinuate that they should get prepared to embark on violence if the results do not meet their expectation. We vehemently denounce such approach and call on the CDC to take cue from all of the by-elections that were held in the last five years most of which it won. Why then should the party at this time be so apprehensive of the election results? Absolutely, we are yet to see any basis for Weah’s fears.
We therefore encourage Weah and his Congress for Democratic Change to go to these elections with open minds like all other parties in the race to campaign for votes rather than engage in blame-shifting and threats which is unhealthy for our country.