Liberia: Vindictive, Divisive Character

(file photo).

-Opposition brands Weah

President George Manneh Weah is experiencing tough times with members of the opposition bloc here, who are portraying dirty characterization of the President, branding him as someone with a 'vindictive, divisive and egoistic character whose sense of success is about erecting monuments and statutes of himself.

The negative characterization followed a bloody clash between supporters of ruling Coalition for Democratic Change Candidate Abu Kamara and supporters of opposition All Liberian Party Candidate, Telia Urey. Ms Urey and Mr. Kamara are scheduled for rerun election in 20 contested polling places in Montserrado County District#15.

The ALP is member of four collaborating opposition parties that are facing up to President Weah's governing Coalition for Democratic Change in a recent representative by-election, which preliminary result is being led by the opposition.

Addressing a news press conference Sunday evening at the opposition Liberty Party headquarters in Monrovia attended by Alternative National Congress political leader, Alexander Cummings and ALP leader Benoni Urey, LP Chairman Steven Zargo narrates that on August 17, 2019 a campaign meeting of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) held at Team Telia Urey's office was disrupted as a result of an attack by supporters of ruling party candidate Abu Kamara.

He notes that the attack occurred in the presence of officers of the Liberia National Police, who sat idly and watched the attackers throwing stones at the campaign headquarters while the meeting was ongoing, adding that these attacks took place just a stone's throw away from the Logan Town Police Depot of the Liberia National Police.

According to him, on the same date at about 6:00pm; Candidate Telia Urey while in a meeting at Mr. Kelvin Bayoh's residence (one of the contestants in the disputed District# 15 by-election) the premises was attacked by supporters of Mr. Abu Kamara.

Mr. Zargo details that the building in which they were meeting, was heavily vandalized with several persons wounded, including Ms Telia Urey and the Vice Chairman of the All Liberian Party, Momo Sambola.

"The attack was a direct attempt on Candidate Urey's life. In an attempt to evacuate Candidate Urey, her vehicle was attacked and severely damaged by these stone-throwing CDcians. These attacks were so prevalent that scores of our people were again wounded. Unfortunately, this havoc against Telia and her supporters was perpetrated as armed personnel of the Liberia National Police stood by and did nothing," the Lofa County Senator explains.

He says it is clear that the Police, charged with the statutory responsibility to provide security for all Liberians, was complacent in the violence of Saturday, August 17, 2019.

Zargo laments the police stood by while attempts to commit murder were taking place under their watchful eyes, saying, "Our confidence in the police has eroded."

"It is this shame and attempt to subvert the Will of the Majority that has led to the orchestration of violence to intimidate, threaten and harass peaceful citizens whose only crime is to peacefully assemble and exercise their franchise. This is a clear case of electoral violence."

But the Executive Committee of the ruling CDC condemns the violence in the district.

The committee in a statement here, warns that such acts of violence are threats to peace, democracy and the economy. "Violence has no place in our politics, irrespective of the scale and tone of our political differences," the CDC asserts.

The ruling party notes that leaders of political parties bear the greatest responsibility to ensure discipline among their respective partisans and to reduce messages of hate, anger and bitterness that tend to poison the climate of political discourse.

It warns that vitriolic rhetoric from all sides engenders violence, opposed to civil intellectual disputation, dialogue and consensus building, which are traditional conduits for the conduct of electioneering and other forms of politics.The CDC calls for speedy and impartial investigation so that individuals who took the law in their own hands would face full weight of the law.

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