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EDITORIAL – Welcoming the New Political Groupings

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In recent times, newspaper front pages, editorials and articles have been highlighting mergers, coalitions and alliances among Liberian political parties ahead of the 2011 general and presidential elections in Liberia.

We, too at the New Dawn, with the primary objective of encouraging the reduction of political parties to afford Liberian voters the opportunity to make informed decisions in the process of electing Liberia’s new leader come 2011, have been at the center of such efforts.

The New Dawn, in its Monday, May 24 edition, reported that despite recent reports about attempts by the Political leader of the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, George Manneh Weah, Secretary General Lenn Eugene Nagbe and others to cross over to the ruling Unity Party, there were reports of efforts by a number of Liberian political parties for a new coalition.

The political parties in these efforts were named as the National Patriotic Party or NPP, Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, National Democratic Party or NDPl, as well as Free Democratic Party or FDP, Liberia National Union or LINU and True Whig Party or TWP.

Confirming the reports, a number of executives of some of the parties mentioned in the foregoing further disclosed that discussions were ongoing for the new coalition, and may be concluded by next month. For us, what is more welcoming is the realization by these opposition parties that selfishness cannot do the tricks, and that standing alone in 2011 may just be another waste of time for a single party.

We do welcome these discussions not only because of the reduction of the number of political parties, but also the fact that these are institutions that are grass root-oriented with the potential of rising up to the challenge.

Our only hope is that the NPP, CDC, NDPL, TWP, LINU and FDP will continue to persevere to  the end (until final election results are released in 2011) and not allow any form of infiltration, manipulation or outside factors to disintegrate them as we witnessed in 1997 at the Unity Conference Center, when the Alliance for Change crumbled, leaving in the cold only Cletus Wotorson of the Liberian Action Party and Comrade Alaric Tokpa of the Liberia People’s Party as Standard Bearer and Vice Standard of the Alliance without any political impact-making capacity.

We also appreciate news that the political leader of the CDC, George Manneh Weah has expressed his preparedness to submit himself to any democratic process in the would-be coalition for a political leadership or standard bearer.

With the encouraging information coming out of these continuing discussions among the six political parties, we are of the fervent belief that just as it was done during last November senatorial bye-elections, the new coalition would be a very formidable political force to reckon with in the 2011 general and presidential elections.

We do also appreciate the formation of the National Democratic Alliance whose primary objective is to bring a number of political parties together as a way of reducing the number of political parties in Liberia. May we also caution the NDA against manipulations, selfishness and deceit in the process of determining its leadership for the elections in 2011.

We do sincerely hope and pray that those interested in the leadership of the NDA will submit to the democratic process and not be too obsessed with the business of the presidency only because of the belief that they must be.

While the process leading to the recent merger of the Liberia Action Party, Unity Party and a small fraction of the Liberia Unification Party which ended with a convention in Ganta may have been characterized by some maneuverings and political chicaneries, appreciation must be accorded the merger (the new Unity party).

The fact that its objective is to reduce the number of political parties-something it is still pursuing, we do hope that, that which has been done will benefit all and not only the “big fish” in the party as we have witnessed before.

We do also hope that the ruling party will not use cash to create misunderstanding or infuse other vices into other emerging political groupings just to have upper hand. We do certainly believe that if we had only four of these political groupings for 2011, Liberian voters would be in a better position to make informed decisions.

Again, we welcome all of the efforts being exerted by Liberian political parties for a common and new agenda for Liberia in 2011, with the hope that such will continue until true democracy is achieved in our mother land.

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