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Commentary

Renaissance of Dominant One Party State, A Pending Danger for Liberia’s

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Political Future:

I drill my pen through these pages with higher hope of seeing peace loving Liberians in an alliance to build a front that will represent a popular NO against the re-birth of one party system in Liberia.

Inside a one party system

Dominant-party system is a system where there is a category of parties/political organizations that have successively won election victories and whose future’s defeat cannot be envisaged or is unlikely for the foreseeable future.

A wide range of parties have been cited as being dominant at one time or another, including the Kuomintang in the Republic of China (Taiwan), the African National  Congress in South Africa, and the Indian National Congress in India. Such dominance has not always been a matter of concern in the minds of other, like the dominance of the Indian National Congress being seen by some classic intellectuals as source of stability supportive of the consolidation of democracy; we still believe that it creates a cab between platforms that are guided by powers and those that are built for the purpose of harvesting national political dividends.

Like me and other Opponents of one party system; we argue that it views the meaning of democracy as given, and that it assumes that only a particular conception of representative democracy (in which different parties alternate frequently in power) is valid. In support of this view, one author argues that the dominant party ‘system’ is deeply flawed as a mode of analysis and lacks explanatory capacity because it creates no room for question and answer thus classifying it as a very conservative approach to politics and institutional management.

Its fundamental political assumptions are restricted to one form of democracy, electoral politics and hostile to popular politics failing to realize that every nation state is a product of popular sovereignty. This is manifested in the obsession with the quality of electoral opposition and it’s sidelining or ignoring of popular political activity organized in other ways. The assumption in this approach is that other forms of organization and opposition are of limited importance or a separate matter from the consolidation of their version of democracy and way of politicking.

One of the dangers of one party system is the tendency of dominant party to buy or shut down few popular voices and appoint party officials to senior positions irrespective of them having the required qualities since the room for question is an imagination. However, in some countries this is common practice even when there is no dominant party, but Liberia should not be one when we are alive and knowing fully that this should be a generational responsibility.

In a single-party system other parties are banned, silence, tolerated to operate without overt legal impediment, but do not have a realistic chance of winning; the dominant party genuinely wins the votes of the vast majority of voters every time. Under authoritarian dominant-party systems like the dream of the UP, which may be referred to as “electoralism” or “soft authoritarianism”, opposition parties are legally allowed to operate, but are too weak or ineffective to seriously challenge power, perhaps through various forms of corruption, constitutional quirks, manipulations that intentionally undermine the ability for an effective opposition to thrive institutional and/or organizational conventions that support the status quo, or inherent cultural values averse to change.

In some states opposition parties are subject to varying degrees of official harassment and most often deal with restrictions on free speech, lawsuits against potential opposition members like the case of deputy speaker Togba Mulba, rules or electoral systems (such as gerrymandering of electoral districts) designed to put them at a disadvantage. In some cases outright electoral fraud keeps the opposition from power. On the other hand, some dominant-party systems occur, at least temporarily, in countries that are widely seen, both by their citizens and outside observers, to be textbook examples of democracy.

The reasons why a dominant-party system may form in such a country are often debated: Supporters of the dominant party tend to argue that their party is simply doing a good job in government like our situation “in the mix of corruption, bad governance, this obedience to the rule of law; yet the ruling party claims to be the best and that opposition continuously proposes unrealistic or unpopular changes, while supporters of the opposition tend to argue that the electoral system disfavors them (for example because it is based on the principle of first past the post), or that the dominant party receives a disproportionate amount of funding from various sources and is therefore able to mount more persuasive campaigns and underground maneuverings.

I am so embarrass and see this as a creeping dilemma in Liberia for a ruling party whose basic responsibilities but not limited to building and achieving social and political cohesiveness which is a prerequisite to building a modern democratic state to infiltrate opposition’s bloc in her quest to secure an unjustifiable second term. Yet, we still believe that the task to re-affirm and recommit to the moral vision and the value system of our nation as outlined in various historical documents and the Constitution of our land can never be betrayed by the peace loving people of this country.

I feel so disappointed when I read about some African leaders and their institutions like; The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola Led by President José Eduardo dos Santos, in office since 10 September 1979-Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP)Led by President Blaise Compaoré, in office since 15 October 1987 -Cameroonian People’s Democratic Movement (RDPC)Led by President Paul Biya, in office since 6 November 1982 -Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS)Led by President Idriss Déby Itno, in office since 2 December 1990-Congolese Labor Party (PCT)Led by President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, in office from 8 February 1979 to 31 August 1992 and since 15 October 1997-Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE)Led by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in office since 3 August 1990.

After parading through the historical profiles of these parties around Africa, I am convinced that the Unity Party is growing seeds of such siblings at the disadvantage of the unemployed hungry people. Evidence of these negative political unfolding are glaring today in the frame of our already paralyzed democracy that we incurred. This should instill fear in every peace loving citizens of this country because it may not jeopardize people’s personal political dreams, but the overall future of our national political endeavors.

What is abide shocking and unimaginable is to see the already casualties of these anti democratic strategies employed by Unity Party begging for sympathy on public radio and TV. Some will blame their support to Madam Sirleaf on Opposition unpreparedness, while others hide behind ideological differences but never to mention bags of AMERICAN NOTES as if we don’t know the rate in our own country. Ha! Ha!ha!ha!ha!. On the other hand, you are dared to mention any thing such like money because to that will automatically terminate your contract upon the sale of your integrity.

En route to campus in a cap taxi, I listened to One of them who usually refer to the assistance minister of information Hon. Isaac Jackson as ‘ assistance minister for Brumskine Affairs’ saying on the eve of baptism as member of the praise and worship team of Madam Sirleaf ”it is better to take one before I lose all”.

Later did I notice that the Movement for Progressive Change has had a political miscarriage leading to the resignation of almost the entire executive of the party after enjoying just three months of existence. These are sad news to some of us who try to envisage the huge political deficit that will at the end swallow the country.

Fellow Citizens, in our quest to protect this democratic space, I know that we will be disconnected and castigated, but it is now our responsibility to withstand the battle for bread which is a prerequisite in preserving our personal integrity and sense of nationalism.

LONG LIVE LIBERIA! LONG MULTI PARTISM!

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About the Author: Togba Emmanuel, a Political Science student at the University of Liberia. Mobile:  002316451886/0023177212636/ Email:emantogba@yahoo.com

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