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Editorial

Editorial: Worrisome Signs for the 2011 Elections

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Liberian political parties have not only been busied campaigning throughout the country, but also conducting primaries for senatorial and representative candidates in the various counties and seventy-three electoral districts of the country. For the first time in contemporary Liberian political history, disenchantment, corruption and fraud characterized most of the primaries for the last two weeks with almost all of the aggrieved politicians shifting political alliances.

Reasons for these political decisions, from all indications, are the failure of the various party leaderships to adequately address protests and other complaints of irregularities experienced or observed at the recent primaries conducted throughout the country. Notably among the political parties engulfed in such internal political conflict are the ruling Unity Party and Congress for Democratic Change, the main opposition party in Liberia.

When these two political institutions should be exhibiting the highest degree of political maturity and responsibility as the nation’s two foremost political parties so that others may follow, they are creating unwholesome environments wherein personal interests and political chicanery are overshadowing party, district and national interests. One major observation about the primaries in the UP and CDC is the decision by party leaders and other influential executives to insist on, as well as ensure that personal interest prevail.

For political leaders who claim to be democratically entrenched to instigate such conflicts by influencing a number of clear results or even making preferential selections other than those politically ordained by supervisors of their party primaries is  very  worrisome and a “ bad sign” for our country’s emerging democracy.

More interestingly, while party executives and stalwarts continue to remain seriously divided over such unfair and negative political behaviors, UP and CDC leaders are currently negotiating with and pacifying aggrieved aspirants who legitimately won the primaries in their respective districts to abandon their protests and agitations because “they don not want to be politically disgraced” in the eyes of their partisans and other political parties.

“So then, why did they interfere, in the first place, with the process? Didn’t they know that their behaviors would have brought shame onto them?” From our perspective here at the New Dawn-Liberia, this is a complete mockery of democracy. And it is very unfortunate that political leaders who publicly profess daily of being democratically in-toned are the same leaders who overturned the decision of the people.

We believe that in as much as these political leaders are currently circumventing the will of the majority in their respective political parties – UP and CDC through fraudulent means, it is also possible for a repeat in this year’s general and presidential elections in our country.

We, as well as other well-meaning Liberians here and abroad have all right to harbor fear that just as it is done now, so shall it be come October or November this year. It is no secret that the ongoing negative political attitudes exhibited by the two leading political parties in Liberia may be indicative of the political virus they intend to transmit to the fairness and transparency of our upcoming elections.

Truly worrisome they are to us and other well-meaning Liberians, whose basic concerns are that free, fair and transparent general and presidential elections be conducted in the country this year to enable them move ahead with their lives.

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