Liberians from all parts of the country will be going to the polls to elect a new President. This will be the second truly democratic post war election. Innumerable parties have already registered, yet Liberians seem not to have seen any party or coalition of parties capable of influencing the ruling Unity Party. Liberians have been yearning for a rainbow coalition, something, if not realized, according to the majority of the people, could make the elections a mare formality for the Unity Party. The New Dawn has been talking to some Liberians on the issue.
Flipping through a daily paper, Boakai Boimah, 45, crosses the road without paying much attention to taxi that almost hit him. “Hay you, if you want to die go home and die there.” The taxi driver shouted. Boakai told the taxi driver sorry and keeps flipping through the paper. Talking to the New Dawn later, he had this to say: “My brother, these politicians are almost turning us crazy in this place. If they are not able to come together as a strong unique group, let them leave the Old Mah have a free ride. A taxi almost knocked me down when I was crossing the road. Look at what they are saying in this paper.” He said.
He was reading a local paper with headline “BIG COALITION SUFFERS ANOTHER SET BACK.” According to the story in the paper, two main opposition political parties that had announced months before that they were going to merge for the next presidential election have finally failed to realize that dream.
“Look, my brother, let me tell you one thing today, if these opposition political parties fail to form a rainbow coalition until the election, no needs to go vote because the Old Mah is going to have a free ride. You look around and show me the candidate that go solo and make an impact. There is no party right now that can take the challenge. The CDC is getting weak because of this divisive propaganda.” He added.
For many political analysts, the opposition parties in Liberia can win the elections only if they see reason of forming a very strong force. How possible is the formation of such a coalition? A political analyst, who talked to the New Dawn, had this to say: “The CDC has been a very strong political force. But you see politic, it is a game. This game, you have to know how to play it if you don’t want to be very disappointed at the end of it. Right now, what is happening in CDC is the result of a well planned political game. If the leadership of the party is not careful, this could be the beginning of the fall of such a strong party.” Charles B. Saah, political analyst, told the New Dawn.
Who could be the architect of such a political game? Why should any one play such a game? “Now you tell me who is benefitting from this. If the opposition parties are finding it difficult to come together who is being favored? The ruling party is gaining from that situation of course. Only the ruling party can play that game. That is what we call politic. If you don’t understand those things, you have no place on the scene. It is good that the ruling party or any one else is playing that game because this is what will determine how powerful is our opposition. If they cannot solve this kind of political equation, I am sorry to say but they are not yet ready to rule this nation. They have to be able to overcome these situations. If they can’t, then they are just not yet ready to take power from the ruling party.” He added.
More than 20 parties have already registered for this year’s election, and more parties are still coming for registration. Several attempts by major opposition political parties to form a coalition did not materialize. For some Liberians, this is not a matter of political game but simply “the result of selfishness.”
“Every body wants to be president; no one wants to be ice president. Tell me, my brother, how can you form a coalition in such a condition? If the opposition parties mean well for us, let them try to get together for a united front so that we can have the chance to have an election full of anxiety.” Emmanuel Bowtu said.