28 June 2012

Liberia: Weah Sounds Early Warning

The opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC is warning that the people of Liberia will remain restless in search of their own means for leadership if free, fair and transparent national elections were not conducted in Liberia.

This latest warning by the CDC comes in the wake of the party's inability to conduct its own free, fair and transparent convention recently in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.

As a result of the violence which characterized the dismal and undemocratic convention which occasioned the emergence of George Solo as National Chairman, several partisans sustained severe injuries, while others who opposed the decision and choices of Mr. George Weah were forced out of Tubmanburg, the convention center.

During a meeting at the diplomatic enclave of Mamba Point, west of Monrovia with the European Union or EU on June 20, 2012, the party's political leader George Weah described free, fair and transparent elections as very critical to maintaining peace and stability in Liberia and the sub-region.

Weah, who described his party's recent convention as the "most credible, free, fair and transparent" in the history of the CDC despite being marred by anarchy, requested the EU to help "fix it" [the Liberian electoral system] before the 2014 midterm senatorial elections by assisting Liberia's electoral laws and constitutional reforms.

A release issued in Monrovia by CDC's National Executive Committee quoted Weah as pleading with the EU to increase assistance to the Liberian Government in the areas of youth and women empowerment to address the crippling economic effects of mass unemployment.

The release also quoted the CDC political leader as thanking EU for its immense contributions to Liberia's nation building program, but encouraged the EU to do more towards reconciliation and peace. He warned that allowing the weakening peace dividends already flourishing in Liberia could reverse regional peace and security.

Newly elected CDC Chairman George Solo argued that the lack of confidence in the electoral system in Liberia led the party to boycott the November 2011 run-off polls, though the party earlier contested the October polls in which none of the 16 presidential candidates successfully obtained 50 percent plus one vote to be declared a winner.

Solo, whose ascendency to the CDC Chairmanship is still being widely questioned by disenchanted CDCians over claims that Weah dictated the process at the party's convention, also insisted that without fairness in Liberia's electoral system, the people will remain restless in search of their own means for leadership.

Gracing the CDC/EU meeting were Dr. Nicholas Westcott, Managing Director for Africa in the European External Action Service (EEEAS), as well as the Head of the EU Delegation to Liberia, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, among others.

The meeting was said to have reviewed EU-Liberia relations, the situation in the sub-region considering the most recent security and political challenges with emphasis on the Mano River Union (MRU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and how Liberia and the EU could further enhance cooperation.

Meantime, the CDC has announced that it will shortly hold consultations with all opposition political parties regarding the issue of political reforms in Liberia.

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