In the wake of a tense political climate in Liberia, the country’s National Traditional Council, National Council of Churches and other groups are expected to hold mediation talks with incumbent President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf, Justices of the Supreme Court and aggrieved political parties with respect to a recently stalled presidential runoff here.
Speaking Wednesday, 8 November at a news conference in Monrovia, National Traditional Council Chairman Chief Zanzar Karwor said it is time that the traditional leaders come together and work to solve the political problem that has emerged between the National Elections Commission (NEC) and opposition Liberty Party (LP).
LP’s third – time – defeated presidential candidate Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine is demanding a rerun of the 10 October polls and recusal of the entire board of commissioners of the NEC after falling third place behind opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC’s) Sen. George Manneh Weah and ruling Unity Party (UP’s) Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
Chief Karwor says the Traditional Council is taking the lead in mediating because he sees problem, noting that when there is problem it is the chiefs, elders and the poor people that suffer. He observes that those that have money and [travel documents] leave the country during time of crisis, but the the people stay here and as such they are the best to solve the problem.
Meanwhile, Chief Karwor has expressed thanks to opposition Liberty Party for choosing to go to the Court to solve its problem rather than going into bush to bring war and violence in the Country. The Traditional Council Chief reflects that from the days of old, they have been voting and have not had such problem until in recent time.
he says in those days when they used to vote, there was no cheating because voting was different from the way it is today. According to him, when there was problem, they used to sit and talk about it. Notwithstanding, Chief Karwor has cautioned here that the President has the power to appoint the Chairman of the NEC and to remove him. He concludes that the National Traditional Council is not a party and their doors are opened to advice anyone at any time. He calls on media institutions here to add more responsibility in their reporting, warning that some of the reports they put out can lead to a big problem.
Also speaking, the President of the National Christian Council of Liberia Bishop. J. Rudolph Marsh said they are prepared to work with the Tradition Council on what is going on in the Country. Bishop Marsh notes that what is needed in Liberia is for everybody to do the right thing, adding that the President, NEC, Supreme Court, Media, and Political Parties must do the right thing in order for Liberia to move forward.
By Bridgett Milton–Edited by Winston W. Parley