The long awaited moment has come with the declaration of political campaign by the National Elections Commission on JULY 5, 2011. No longer shall accusations be traded for pre-campaigning. Liberians of both political and non-political backgrounds have geared up to put in place a new democratic government. There are about 29 political parties and a stream of candidates from which Liberians must make a choice.
Who Should Govern Liberia For Another Six Years? Andrew Kear And Prominent Leaders Speak
There are Liberians who believe in continuity and those who have condemned the present dispensation and believe change is most urgent. Others are well pronounced and definite on the one hand, while there are the ambiquitors who generalize their arguments. In other words, what we have on hand is a profound debate or campaign aimed at guiding the electorates in their decisions.
We have listened to so many voices. The voices of opposition politicians, opposition candidates, opposition parties as well as free thinkers, pro-government advocators, and the analytical presentations of media personalities, including callers on talk shows. All these voices have added to the confusion of citizens on where to pitch their tents this political season.
While it is true that there are committed partisans who are also committed to their prejudices as far as party loyalty is concern, there are others who exercise sound political judgments by cutting their support beyond party lines.
Of recent, a young Liberian intellectual and administrator who have shied away from the press for a long time has broken his silence on where he thinks Liberians should go. Mr. Andrew Kear, Director of Human Resource of the Ministry of Public Works was hosted on a live Love Radio Talk Show last Saturday. In his interview, Mr. Kear shared no doubts that Candidate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf remains the best choice for the Presidency of Liberia for the next six years.
Why does he think so? Does he realized that in the race there is a Winston Tubman of high academic excellence, international recognition, and political experience that could do as much as President Sirleaf; or a Walter Brumskine, a legal luminary who is recognized by the United States Supreme Court and a Dew Mayson of one of the highest intellectual standards and a well pronounced businessman who has built an empire and has become a pride of Liberia though recently expelled by the New Deal Party?
In Mr. Kear’s argument, these are astute Liberians; but of them all, Madam Sirleaf can be currently vouched for on account of her accomplishments. He told a listening Liberia in these words: “that as Liberia approaches another General Elections; it behooves me to make known my position as to who I shall give my support to. Reasons expressed by him are: (a) President Sirleaf has redeemed Liberia from a failed state to one of a success story given her international acceptance of both her foreign and domestic policies. (b) Liberia’s incurred debt burdens were so enormous that the international community, the World Bank, IMF as well as Paris club did not want to do business with Liberia. But through her sound fiscal, monetary and economic policies, Liberia is now debt free.
Expounding further reasons, the young MBA in Business Administration asserts that nothing could be so pleasing and attractive than her vigorous investment programs which have caused the revitalization of the industrial enclaves, and economic opportunities. He said these were achieved because of her positive engagements with new partners while constructively dealing with old partnerships. Kear’s fear that a shift in the trend by a new administration could jeopardize these partnerships and break confidence to the detriment of Liberians.
Liberia’s foremost human rights advocate who has been saddled with ministerial responsibilities, first as Labor Minister and now, Public Works Minister, is one of those whose involvement with this administration grants more legitimacy to the continuity of the Sirleaf’s administration says a dignitary who prefers anonymity. According to him, President Sirleaf human rights records are unbeatable in Africa and other third world countries and fundamental rights under her are protected to her own detriment. These observations are also yard sticks by which Mr. Kear says his support is drawn. He believes that with the establishment of a sound foreign policy which has an enormous domestic return, President Sirleaf should be given her last term to firmly set up the domestic agenda as she did the foreign.
But opposition parties most notably Dr. Tipoteh faults the above arguments stating on interviews that the Government has done nothing to better the lives of Liberians. Winston Tubman believes that there are so much down trodden Liberians who are over shadowed by the Sirleaf’s focus on the few educated Liberians. Mayson believes that there are so many hungry people than before occasioned by the government’s unjust economic policies. Brumskine says the Government has completely failed Liberians. Can these convictions be the actual truths or politicians are just politicking? President Sirleaf has challenged opposition parties and candidates to show the citizens what they have done in the last six years to benefit Liberians.
On the 4th of July, the Union of Liberian Democrats (ULD) held its National Convention with Jonathan Mason being elected as the Flag Bearer. He, in an impressive acceptance speech which captivated his audience, said: ‘If you have not been hungry before, you cannot know what hunger is; if you have not tasted poverty, you will not know what poverty is; if you have not dropped out of school because of school fees or walk for miles in search for fees, you will never know.” He climaxed his compassionate statements by letting Liberians know that he’s been through them all and will not fail them.
Dr. Fredrick Gbegbe, former President of the University of Liberia said in his keynote speech at the convention that political parties must be involved in community works, bring in investments, and guide Liberians after elections whether they win or not. He said parties spring up during elections and after same, they are unheard of. He challenged parties to remain alive and show their relevance before elections. Can his statement form a harmonization to the challenge of President Sirleaf?
The Independent Union for Progressive Leadership in Liberia headed by Hon. Emmanuel A. Lomax is currently vetting all presidential and legislative candidates and will be declaring their support for a presidential candidate believed to be the best for now. The IPUL is assessing all candidates’ mental processes, intellection reactions to political issues and questions as well as their emotional and humane responses to the plight of Liberians. While the world waist to now the IUPL direction, Hon. Lomax says it will be with open mind, unbiasness, and would cut across partisan lines.
It is hope that the National Campaign will be conducted with the sense of dignity, tenacity of purpose, self discipline, and nationalism, says the IUPL Board of Director Chairman, Senator Abel M. Massalay.