The Executive Mansion has disclosed that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has held discussions on national issues with a three-member delegation of the main opposition party, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), led by its political leader, Ambassador George Weah. The CDC Chairman and Secretary-General, George Solo and Nathaniel McGill, respectively, were present at the meeting.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf told the CDC leadership that she had invited them to share notes and solicit their party's views on a number of national issues, and to forge closer cooperation and collaboration with the main opposition political party.
Among the issues she cited were: the Constitutional Review process, the National Visioning process, the Peace and Reconciliation Roadmap, and the Electoral Law Reform process. "In all of our pending reform processes, the participation, views and input of the CDC and all other political parties are highly welcomed and this is my reason for inviting you," President Sirleaf told Ambassador Weah and delegation.
She informed the CDC executives that the review of the Liberian Constitution and the Electoral Laws are two critical processes to be undertaken, and that the intervention and participation of both the ruling party and all opposition parties, including the CDC, is crucial. "The profiling on who becomes a commissioner on the National Elections Commission will be open to all national stakeholders, including political parties," the Liberian leader disclosed.
President Sirleaf also used the occasion of the meeting to praise the CDC leadership for its positive engagement with the Unity Party-led government since the inception of her second term as President of Liberia, and for the manner in which the CDC conducted itself during its recent Memorial Day program in Monrovia.
The President further urged the leadership, along with its partisans, to remain positive, peaceful, cooperative and collaborative as the country strives to sustain and consolidate its democratic governance process. She also assured the CDC delegation that government remains committed to its governance responsibility and will not fail in delivering on its promises.
Responding, Ambassador Weah thanked the President for the invitation, and praised her for the manner in which she finds solution to the many critical national issues whenever problems exist.
The CDC political leader emphasized that there are several fundamental issues that must not be left with just President Sirleaf or the ruling government alone to solve, adding that if a sitting government succeeds, it benefits all Liberians. "If we don't cooperate with the government, and allow it to fail in meeting the needs of the country and its people, it harms everybody," Amb. Weah stated.
He told President Sirleaf that the CDC, although an opposition political party, is not an enemy to government and the State, but a true and reliable partner in the governance process. "We need to go beyond mere partisanship and be nationalistic; but the government too must always work to get the opposition parties involved," Ambassador Weah advised.
He believed that reform of the Electoral Laws and the Political Party Sustainability Act will help strengthen democracy and promote peace, and thus urged President Sirleaf to support the proposed law.
"I know that when you continue to govern well and sustain the current peace and democracy, you will be able to transfer power, remain here safe, and be a source of consultation for the new leadership," the CDC political leader emphasized.
In his remarks, CDC Chairman Solo thanked the Liberian leader for the audience and for her positive role in addressing the rows concerning the CDC's Memorial Day program.
He assured the Liberian President that the CDC and its partisans will at all times exercise their rights in a manner that does not lead to the violation of the rights of others and undermine peace. He emphasized that the CDC has the responsibility to work with government for the good of the country and will not stay away from such obligation.
"Regular consultations are necessary to maintain peace and create a stable and mature political environment that enhances peace. There will always be irrational and greedy people who will work to undermine collaboration and cooperation because they do not thrive when this happens; we have a responsibility to overcome such people," Chairman Solo stated.
Speaking to journalists following the meeting with President Sirleaf, Ambassador Weah said "the meeting was fruitful. Everybody understands that this country belongs to all Liberians and that we need peace, stability and cordial working relationship."
He added: "Even though we are political opponents, we need to go beyond that and continue to strive for the well-being of our country."
He indicated that meetings with President Sirleaf, such as the one held, meant well for Liberia because all parties are trying to maintain peace and stability in order to move the country forward even though there are political differences and views. "We think that after 15 years of civil crisis, Liberians should understand that we need to work together for the good of the country."