In their respective reports following the November 8, 2011 Presidential Run-off election, a number of local and international observer missions, including the Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS and African Union, AU emphasized the urgent need for political dialogue among stakeholders. This many viewed as an important call to the President-elect, Government and people of Liberia so as to avoid future embarrassment for Liberia.
And so, the process ensued with an olive branch from the President-elect and her government to the Congress for Democratic Change, CDC-the party which boycotted the run-off election because, according to its leaders, their presidential results in the October 11, 2011 were “tempered” with even though all of the observers discounted such allegation.
Regrettably, when I and many other well-meaning Liberians harboured the belief that such a political dialogue would have included the first five political parties, considering the results of the October 11 general and presidential elections-National Union for Democratic Progress, NUDP, Liberty Party, LP and Liberia Transformation Party or LTP, the President chose the CDC.
Whether or not the selective decision was influenced by the violent posture chosen by some executives and stalwarts of the CDC through their public utterances and physical actions (on November 7, 2011), it is not just something about which to conclude. But in the minds of many Liberians, the political dialogue should have actually involved the five top political parties in the October 11, 2011 and only the CDC.
However, it was still in the interest of peace and national reconciliation that may have been made.
Unfortunately, just as Liberians, including ordinary members and sympathizers of the CDC and UP were thinking about the meaningful discussions and a celebrative conclusion of the talks, news about very huge and unreasonable demands began saturating all over the place.
The CDC was reported to be demanding huge ‘cash’ and the Liberia Maritime Authority, as well as Ministries of Finance, Commerce and Justice. The dismissal of the Minister of Justice was another hard demand made by the CDC through its representatives at the political dialogue.