9 May 2019

Liberia: Opposition Rallies Support for June 07

Four opposition collaborating political parties here, including the ex-ruling Unity Party, Liberty Party, Alternative National Congress and the All Liberian Party pledge financial, moral, and social support for the planned protest on 07 June to demand reforms in the Weah administration.

Speaking during a news conference at the Alternative National Congress headquarters in Monrovia Wednesday, May 8, UP national chairman Wilmot Paye asserts: "So today, not only do our four (4) Political Parties unflinchingly, resoundingly, unapologetically and unequivocally support efforts by the Council of Patriots to organize a peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, but we also announce our direct involvement and participation in the planning, execution and management of all peaceful conduct and actions geared toward achieving the noble objective of drawing the attention of President George M. Weah and his administration to issues of governance, which his administration has woefully ignored despite growing outcries from Liberians."

He observes that in recent times, in quite an unprecedented fashion, Liberia's international partners have been vocal about development in the country.

Chairman Paye notes that this is reflected in their utterances which they make apparently reluctantly and against conventional diplomatic protocols to draw attention to Liberia's declining governance climate, adding that they do so because more than US$10bn had been invested in Liberia's peace.

"This peace, we are under no illusion, can only be sustained through deliberate citizens-centered decisions, actions, policies and a governance culture that is characterized by the rule of law."

According to him, the opposition political parties restate and reaffirm their total belief in and commitment to maintaining Liberia's fragile peace, the sustenance of which depends wholly and solely on government mustering the courage to tackle historical wrongs and contemporary ills, saying, "Obviously, that is nothing too much for a people to ask or demand of their government."

"In this public manner, we present and place at the disposal of the Council of Patriots and for the sole purpose of peacefully rallying the citizenry to save the Liberian State, our various organizational machineries across the country. By this we mean that our national, county, district and zonal organs as well as vast pools of human and material resources will be marshalled for this noble goal;" Paye continues.

He calls on members, supporters, sympathizers and friends of the collaborating parties throughout the length and breadth of Liberia and in the diasporas to lend maximum support to the Council of Patriots, chief organizer of the planned protest and to, as further proof of their resounding disapproval for the deteriorating economy, turn out in their hundreds of thousands beginning June to draw the government's attention to their concerns.

He assures that there will be no violence, at least from the perspective of the four political parties and the Council of Patriots movement.

"No one should instill fear in you. There is a huge difference between 2019 and 1979, to which some unqualified comparisons have been made in order to discourage [you] from speaking out. The Council of Patriots is a democratic movement that our four political parties are part of."

He underscores that June 2019 is the time for the Liberian people to speak to those on Capitol Hill who have shown no interest in their plight, noting that their contemptible behavior is the reason for the people to unite under a single banner.

He cautions if Liberians do not act now, prices, which are already shooting up through the roof, will climb to the skies, and the hardships they are bearing will get worse as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have already predicted.

"June is not about violence, and so it cannot be violent. And you know why those on Capitol Hill will work to discourage you, to put fear in you, not to be a part. They are the looters, you are the looted; the cheaters, you the cheated. You work; they pay themselves. You sow; they reap. You study hard; they get the pass. You trek; they fly. June 7 will be the one chance you have to make them know "Enough is enough! They must place you on the agenda," he concludes.

Momentum is building up here for the pending protest, amid fears and uncertainty about how events could turn out with the government seems unwilling for citizens to protest. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne

Liberia

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