3 October 2017

Liberia: Macdella - 'I Am... That Generational Change'

Photo: Liberian Observer
Macdella Cooper, the first female president aspirant to enter Liberia's 2017 race.

The political leader of the opposition Liberia Restoration Party (LRP), Macdella Cooper, says President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's recent statement on generational change is a clear endorsement of her presidency as the next person to succeed her.

In an exclusive interview with journalists in Gbarnga over the weekend, Madam Cooper spoke of how she admires the reaction of women across the country toward her being the only female candidate in the presidential election among the 19 men vying for the position.

"I am standing between two generations, those who are aging out, and those who are coming in. I also understand the struggle of the young people; and while they are aging out, there must be a benefit for everyone to trust through a pension scheme," the LRP political leader said.

Cooper said that she cares a lot about the young people and also about those who are ageing as well, adding, "there are lots of people who are in the streets because there are no jobs, no opportunity for them to go to school, no money and no one cares for them," Ms. Cooper told reporters.

She said further that for too long women have been suppressed in the country; and, therefore, she has encouraged them throughout the length and breadth of the country not to consider themselves as back-benchers as their male counterparts have perceived them over the years.

"President Sirleaf's recent statement is a clear endorsement for me, the only female candidate in the ensuing presidential race, because I am the youngest contender among the men, and so I am the one who is going to bring that generational change the President is referring to. I am the one with the ideas, the innovation and the vision to move the country from its dying bed to the 21ts century," she said.

Cooper narrated that President Sirleaf has done what she was elected to do for the country at a critical crossroad by maintaining the peace, "and now that we have peace, it is about time that we focus on how to develop the country."

She said if elected as president, her government will build an economy that will take care of the people to the extent that Liberians will not accept unqualified people, "only because they are her relatives or friends, but accept qualified people because Liberia belongs to everyone."

Cooper said her government will have no room for officials that will steal public funds, noting that those accused of stealing taxpayers' money will have their day in court, and if that person is guilty, he/she will be dealt with according to the laws governing the country.

"No one will be given special privilege if caught stealing national resources because they are my relatives or friends, and there will be no recycling of government officials," the female candidate added.

Madam Cooper: "My decision to contest the elections is because I want to give Liberians the kind of life they deserve by equitably distributing the resources."

With just seven days to the elections, Cooper has meanwhile urged everyone to remain peaceful and make the right decisions at the polls.

While in Bong County, she visited several organizations including women, motorcyclists and those belonging to the Muslim and the Christian communities.

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