The governing Unity Party (UP) and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) are throwing missiles at each other, including naming-calling, accusations and counter-accusations as campaign ahead of the October elections intensifies here.
The polls are barely 40 days away, but the ruling party and the Coalition appear to be building up their respective political arsenals daily as demonstrated on Monday, 28 August during a live talk show when youths from the UP led by Vailie Dorley, descended on CDC standard bearer Senator Weah, describing the presidential hopeful as a “political buffoon.”
He continues that Weah is inept and has failed in his duty as senator, saying Amb. Weah should learn how to speak well in public.
Weah delivered a prepared speech that lasted about 35 minutes recently at his party headquarters in Congo Town when officially launched his campaign for the presidency, promising to invest in education, agriculture, health and other sectors of the economy.
He had earlier been absent from a debate organized for the six top candidates in the race, including Vice President Boakai. The event was organized by Deepening Democracy Coalition or DDC, a conglomeration of five Liberian media organizations, including the Press Union of Liberia held under the auspices of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa or OSIWA.
“UP wants to debate with Weah”, Dorley challenges and continues, “I’m disappointed in Dr. McCintosh to have introduced such a candidate, who he knows cannot read well.”
The apparent bad blood between the two parties that is rapidly reaching boiling point is as the result of last weekend’s claim coming from the CDC headquarters that Vice President Boakai is sponsoring an alleged plot along with the Minister of Defense Brownie Samukai to assassinate Weah.
But Minister Samukai terms the allegation as stupidity.
The CDC has subsequently turned over three alleged assassins, who claim they were hired by the Vice President and others to the job to the Liberia National Police.
Weah had also unleashed a stinking attack against Vice President Boakai, while touring western Liberia weeks ago, telling citizens that the UP standard bearer could not show any accomplishment for his 40 years spent in public service.
He wants Boakai to retire along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the end of the government’s tenure on October 10th.
But Samora Wolokollie of the CDC says Weah’s comment against the UP standard bearer is in response to previous attacks by Vice President Boakai against the Coalition standard bearer when he warned Liberians not to elect a footballer because they would be kicked around like a football.
The campaign here seems to be drifting away from issues to personality contest as the date for elections draw closer in what is expected to become the first peaceful transition from a sitting government to a new administration elected at the ballot box since the 1940s. Story compiled by Jonathan Browne