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Whapoe accuses CDC of pre-campaigning

By Lincoln G. Peters

Opposition Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) political leader Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe has accused the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of pre-campaigning.

He told a press conference at his Old Road office late Tuesday, 31 January 2023 that he plans to drag President George Manneh Weah’s CDC before the National Elections Commission (NEC) for allegedly engaging in pre-camping activities.

“We are not going to take the government to court. But, we will complain the political campaign activities of the CDC to the National Elections Commission,” Dr. Whapoe said.

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Responding to President Weah’s sixth State of the Nation Address late Tuesday, Dr. Whapoe said he will officially file a complaint against the CDC to the NEC for breaching the Elections Law and Guidelines of the NEC.

“With immediate effect, we will expect redress from it [NEC]. However, anything more than that, we will encourage all political parties to follow suit because we are all interested to lead Liberia,’’ Dr. Whapoe noted.

“We are seeing President Weah putting his picture all over the place [concerning] one million citizens rally. We also saw the President in his State of the Nation Address using Article 58 of the Constitution to campaign,” Dr. Whapoe lamented.

He considered the president’s action as a broad day violation of the Constitution, and his party cannot continue to keep silent.

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“Therefore, we are informing the NEC and [the] general public because if they don’t stop, we will encourage others to do so,” Whapoe added.

He said the campaign statement and political speeches allegedly made by the president were strictly against electoral laws, campaigning outside of normal campaign periods as prescribed by the NEC.

The opposition politician explained that it’s so unfortunate that the CDC government will begin to engage in early campaign activities when it is aware of the elections timetable released by the NEC.

He termed the ruling party’s action as an intentional and blatant violation of the elections campaign law, warning the ruling party to desist from abusing power and insulting the rights of the people.

Whapoe recalled that during a program held under the auspices of the CDC National Youth League in West Point, the group’s chairman Mr. Emmanuel Johnson told a jubilant crowd that the CDC had already won the October 2023 elections in the first round.

Dr. Whapoe lamented that Johnson had alleged that there was no need for a second round, adding that all CDC partisans should prepare their inauguration shoes for celebration.

Dr. Whapoe stated that amid these and voter-trucking threats by members of the CDC legislative caucus, including the chair on executive Representative Acarys Gray, it is a show and mere bluff for President Weah to commit to the holding of a free, fair, and transparent election.

Dr. Whpoe continued that the president’s State of the Nation Address was filled with self-fulfilling prophecies, praising, glory-seeking, and political campaign statements.

“We firstly would thank the people of Liberia for the level of resilience recently exhibited since the inception of this CDC-Weah-led government, despite the level of hardships and serious economic challenges posed by this regime,” he said.

He said a deception analyzed from the president’s annual message is the issue of stabilizing the Liberian economy since 2018. 

“It can be recalled that the economy has suffered serious ups and downs since this president took over,” Dr. Whapoe argued.

He disclosed that this uncertain posture of the economy has left the Liberian people with little or no hope after voting for “a change for hope” government that prices kept going up daily.

He lamented that the young people are all out in the street due to the increased hardship, leaving the majority of young males with no option but to engage in bike and kehkeh riding.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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