For the first time in Liberia’s political history, the storm began at 5:00am. Doors were flung open and excitements burst forth. For those who pretended that nothing was strange about it, by 6:00am, they had a second thought. With great speed and inescapable force, the storm metamorphosed into a whirlwind, and then, a great hurricane of people threw Monrovia into a state of bewilderment. The sea of green which distinguished what is now called the Sirleaf’s Hurricane from Hurricane Charlie and its stubborn destructive cousins, were jubilant Liberians from all walks of life converging on Monrovia City to demonstrate to the international community that contrary to beliefs that President Sirleaf is unpopular with her people, that she is indeed Liberians favorite choice for the presidency.
From the show of strength, the opposition parties would now face the realities of politics and the thought processes of the people for whom they traditionally speak. What led to such mammoth support needs to be answered. Mr. Jerry Roberts, an up-coming political force, though relatively yet unknown, puts it this way: “we did not gather to cherish a politician, but we did so to cherish the works of a leader who brought a systematic transformation to the politics and economic life of Liberia.”
The opposition claimed President Sirleaf has failed the people of Liberia. But on the 17th of September, 2011, the people claimed that the opposition has failed them. They claimed that the President has mortgaged the economy; but the people have spoken to the effect that economic revival, reforms and growth have rated President Sirleaf far above any President the nation has had. As it appears, it is the words of politicians against the words of the people. For the people, they spoke by action and not words. Their convergence on Monrovia as a thunderstorm is clear evidence of their commitment to the Unity Party.
Unfortunately, the Sirleaf’s Hurricane has caused a mounted pressure on the Supreme Court to assign the ten years residency clause for hearing and the possibility exist that it would be a long fight that might jeopardize the electoral time table and usher in an interim structure if the Supreme Court does not move with speed and tact on this politically explosive matter.
A young student of J.J. Roberts High School wonders why major opposition leaders have decided to remain silent for this long when efforts are being made to disenfranchised them from the process. Are there reasons the public should know? From the on-set of the anti-referendum campaign by major opposition leaders who’s qualification under Article 52c are now under judicial scrutiny, this writer has written a number of articles on the constitutional impasse that the failure of the referendum might create and the possibility of the very campaigners being disqualified. Nevertheless those observations and analysis, there were victory dances by the opposition when finally the referendum was defeated. What is the game plan and just what did they depend on to accomplish their political ambitions?
There is this hypothesis that” if I should go against what I believe I should have and what would achieve for me my ambition, then I must have sinister plans. If I should oppose myself when others seek to support me, then I do not deserve the support of others.” The Liberian political climate, for the first time, is rendered confused. This state of confusion is having a negative effect on partisan politics in the country especially, where its sophistication outweighs the abilities of semi educated and illiterates to comprehend. More than that, there are the educated elites with high political IQs who understand the political direction some major candidates and parties want Liberia to take and there are those with no political knowledge and experience to analyze politicians’ intents and crucial political issues. These create vulnerabilities in the Liberian political stratosphere and if care is not taken, their blind support may be their tomorrow’s nightmare.
We wish to reiterate our previous position that none of the candidates qualified by the National Elections Commission can be disqualified. Reasons are the ambiguity of Article 52c which states nothing about ten years consecutive stay in the country or ten years intermittent stay. Moreover, Liberia has undergone over 13 years of civil crisis which paralyzed the political, constitutional, social, and economic structures. During those periods of instability, threats, wars, carnage, and destructions, Article 52c was rendered un-functional and un-implementable. The implementation of Article 52c can only be done ten years after the restoration of peace and normal conditions. This means, from 2006 to 2015, without compelling reasons for citizens to flee their country of origin, the right conditions would have been established for the implementation of Article 52c.
Nevertheless, the interpretation of Article 52c has, by constitutional mandate, been given to the Supreme Court which is expected to interpret same and save the nation from constitutional crisis that may engender political tensions in the country. This writer hails the nation’s highest court for its timely rescue of the country through its interpretation of Article 91 that has removed a fundamental and formidable constitutional crisis from the way. That the simple majority for legislative elections have become a constitutional provision, the fear of a no legislative run off due to funding and the possibility of having no district representation in the House of Representatives and a no quorum for the Senate which would have cause a major constitutional problem for the inauguration of an elected president, has now been resolved.
As the nation awaits the ruling of the Supreme Court on Article 52c, commentaries on the show of strength by the Unity Party which is given various names such as TSUNAMI, HURRICANE, EARTHQUAKE AND THUNDER STORM will go down in history as the first political rally that has attracted so huge a support for a ruling party since the democratization of Liberia. But, the CDC is claiming that the crowd was a loan from them to the ruling party. If this is true, the CDC needs to dissolve itself for its mammoth support of President Sirleaf’s second term and telling the international community that indeed, President Sirleaf is the choice of Liberians for this term.
Political commentators have dismissed the CDC claims as political childishness, unrealistic, and designed to attract attention to itself as the most popular political party in Liberia. In actuality, popularity has seen popularity and popularity has run for cover under the guise that those were its supporters. What kind of strategy would that be for the opposition to boost the electoral bid of the ruling party it seeks to deselect? The world has known that the ruling party has more numerical strength then the opposition and if Ellen does not win, there must be a fault with the Elections Commission.