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GeneralLiberia news

Final argument

-as Liberians go to vote Tuesday

By Jonathan Browne 

All 20 candidates vying for the Presidency on Tuesday, 10 October have been crisscrossing Liberia, including the incumbent, President George Manneh Weah, campaigning and asking electorate for votes and making promises. But whether those promises are genuine or mere rhetoric is totally something else, judging from the public record of each candidate.  

As the campaign comes to a close in just two days before Election Day Tuesday, the NEW DAWN takes a closer look at messages of the three main contenders in the race namely; the incumbent, President Weah, former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the Unity Party, and Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings of the Collaborating Political Parties, aimed at giving voters food for thought as they go to the poll.

 President Weah and his ruling Coalition government are seeking a second term to complete ongoing developments, mainly roads that remain a major challenge, particularly outside Monrovia, the capital.

 Mr. Weah says one term is inadequate to enable him achieve his dreams for Liberia, as he wants to leave a legacy before stepping down. He left a legacy on the global stage in football, winning Africa, European and World Best title all in one year.

His unmatched successes in soccer has drawn the nation’s youth to him dearly for obvious reasons since entering politics in 2005. Young people constitute more than 50 percent of the population of Liberia and they see themselves in President Weah, not only as a beacon of hope, but a pride for the country.  

The President recently cautioned youth of Liberia most of them first-time voters, during a campaign rally in Grand Bassa County, not to allow rhetoric from failed politicians to hijack their future. Rather, he rallied them to seize opportunities of transformation and development that will enable them to have a prosperous future under his administration.

He urged the youth to stick with the ruling CDC that has already begun work and is on the right path of transforming their lives thru capacity building to make them good leaders for tomorrow.

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“Don’t allow these failed politicians, who are only coming to fool you and allow your good and favorable future to wear away; deny those who have failed you for 12 years and now they’re coming to you again asking you to vote them and deny the opportunity, through education, empowerment, my administration has given you”, he said.

President Weah: “Remember I’m no different from you; seeing me here today as your President, you too can be President one day, so don’t let them fool you; don’t mind them, they have nothing to give you; only lies and rhetoric.”

His message resonated do well among the young people, moving them to cheer, as he urged them to seize opportunities his government has created for the youth, noting that gone are those days when the Presidency was a taboo for young people and the downtrodden, reserved exclusively for the upper class or the elites.

According to him, under his watch, the narrative has changed, as every Liberian is equal under the law, equal in opportunities, and capable of being a leader in every capacity, even as President of Liberia.

The President revealed that he has launched a “people’s struggle” to change such demeaning and segregating narrative so that every Liberian, no matter where they are or who their parents are, can harness their future.

“Young people, don’t allow this glorious opportunity to slip out of your hands because the future belongs to you. This is our moment.”

In Rivergee County, Mr. Weah promised more developments, and boasted of gains made by his administration, pointing to road connectivity, infrastructure development and electricity, while emphasizing that his government has done much in the last five years in making his impact felt throughout Liberia.

“Road construction, health and educational infrastructures, bridges, electricity supply to both rural and urban populations, women and youth empowerment and many others”, he said, while describing himself as “Development Kingon.”

The CDC-led government has campaigned on tuition-free public universities and colleges, payment of WASSCE fees for 12th graders both in public and private schools across the country, among others.

But two main critics of the government, Ambassador Boakai and Mr. Cummings think President Weah has performed dismally and dragged Liberia into socio-economic shackle, with poverty devastating ordinary citizens, many of whom can highly afford to send their children to school, enjoy better health or to put food on the table for the family.  

Former corporate executive and Standard Bearer of the CPP Mr. Alexander Cummings, argues that due to ineptitude and gross misrule by the government, Mr. Weah has lost relevance and popularity with Liberian people, so he has no standing to request another term, let alone to speak of winning in the first round of the poll. 

“I know and hear President George Weah and CDC talking about one round victory for them. That is completely nonsense and it will not happen. You know why? Because the President and his entire CDC government has failed the Liberian people. Therefore, no Liberian and none of our international partners and community believe that nonsense about one-round victory from them”, he adds. 

Instead, Cummings, who brands himself as “Fixer”, maintains that he is ready to return Liberia on the right trajectory, arguing that the only Presidential ticket for the 2023 Election that leads to a resoundingly successful one-round victory is the Cummings-Charlyne Brumskine Ticket that heads. 

He argues that when the opposition didn’t had more candidates then, Mr. Weah only obtained 38 percent in the first round of the election in 2017 therefore, he can’t win any one-round victory now, with 19 candidates going against him.

He vows to tackle corruption that has remained systemic in the governance of the state and blames the deteriorating economic conditions on repeated past mistakes of electing weak and incompetent leaders like President George Weah.

Cummings says his quest for the Presidency is not to steal public resources, but rather to build a prosperous nation, governed under the rule of law.

He also promises to build a wholesome functioning governance system inclusive of all Liberians, irrespective of political, religious affiliation, or ethnicity.

He wants to provide micro-finance loans for Liberian businesses and support farmers in making the country food-sufficient.

Cummings assures that all that he has promised he will do and references countries that are making significant advancements, not because they are smarter, but with visionary leaders. Liberia, he says, can even achieve greater under a CPP-led government.

On the other hand, Amb. Joseph Boakai cautions that if Weah is elected for another six years, then Liberia is doomed, so the electorate should elect him comes Tuesday, to rescue the country from total collapse.

Mr. Boakai recognizes that there are challenges ahead, saying that Liberian society faces many foundational challenges, including political marginalization of citizens in decision-making process, economic inequalities, social injustice, corruption, hunger, disease, ignorance, insecurity, poor infrastructure, environmental degradation, youth unemployment, a drug epidemic, among others. 

However, the 80-year-old candidate, who prides himself as the most experienced in the race, having served two terms as Vice President under Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,  firmly believes that within every challenge lies an opportunity for growth, noting that together, he and his running mate Senator Jeremiah Koung, will confront these challenges head-on, with compassion and determination.

He assures that the UP will work tirelessly to create an inclusive society, where no one is left behind, where opportunities are abundant, and where the future is brighter for each generation. 

“In tandem, we will improve agriculture production, improve our infrastructure, including roads, ensure law and order in our society, invest in the education of young people, improve health and sanitation, prevent the degradation of our environment, and develop its potential for tourism to arrest the dire political, economic and social challenges we face as a country”, he pledges.  

He also promises that if elected President, transformation will be driven by the people, and therefore, education will be a major part of his agenda. 

The UP Standard Bearer believes that a well-educated society is a thriving society, vowing to invest in schools, teachers, and students to ensure the quality of education under his government is accessible to all.

He believes that equipping minds of the youth with knowledge and skills they need, will unlock their potential, drive innovation, enhance their dignity and secure a prosperous future for Liberia.

“We will not allow the resources of this country to be mortgaged by a few people for their selfish interests. The people of this country and their government under our stewardship will be equal partners in the judicious exploitation of national resources for the good of the people. If there must be economic growth from the exploitation of our resources, that growth must be equal for our people and must come with development”, he concludes.

They will be reechoing these same promises and perhaps more as campaign closes this weekend to allow voters to digest and make their final decision.  

Registered Liberian voters, totaling 2,471,617, according to statistics from the National Elections Commission, have listened to these three candidates and others in the race from time to time. It is now their moment to make a choice at the ballot box, void of intimidation and threats to keep the country in peace in order to forge ahead with development and prosperity. 

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2 Comments

  1. The smell of the win is the one selected as the best of the worst.
    FINAL peace and tranquility for Liberia.

  2. Accordingly, we conclude that the media analysis points to the inability to meet the needs of Liberians. The 3 candidates having enough time to show their peace and earnest desires in the nation’s interest to them have smell flunky. One quite has no empirical morden, the other with the experience but failed to show while on the ticket with the last female leader and the the other not yet fully attained promises. All begging for votes to see why one should be elected.
    If no other canvas amongst the rest of the campaigners has the vote to win, we as a people conclude that media suggest that a transparency is the final result to a peaceful free and fair election. In other words, who will be select as the best from the worst to continue on the path to succeed? Let the factual – actual votes show this transpersonal formula to accept the one who wins.

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