Thursday, May 27, 2010

Latest Liberia Coalition Draws Strange Bedfellows: CDC. TWP NDPL FDP Join Forces

Latest Liberia Coalition Draws Strange Bedfellows: CDC. TWP NDPL FDP Join Forces

05/7/2010 - FPA STAFF REPORT


Monrovia –

Two former ruling parties and a grassroots movement riding on the shoulders of a football legend are among a new force of political opposition in Liberia coming together to challenge the ruling Unity Party in next year’s general elections.

FrontPageAfrica has gathered that extensive consultative talks are underway among several Liberian Opposition Political parties aimed at forming a Grand Coalition to contest the pending 2011 General and Presidential Elections.

The parties consist of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), the Liberia National Union(LINU), the Alliance for Peace and Democracy(APD), the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL), the Progressive Democratic Party(PRODEM), the Free Democratic Party of Liberia(FDP) and the True Whig Party(TWP).

In a joint signed statement released Thursday announcing their plans to contest the 2011 elections under the banner of a Grand Coalition, the initial seven opposition, the parties will hold further talks after the submission of a report from the steering committee that will make recommendations for a roadmap that will lead to the formation of a coalition of opposition parties.

A senior executive of one of the parties involved in the coalition could not confirmed to FrontPageAfrica Thursday who the standard bearer of the party would be in 2011 only that the individual would be chosen at a convention. It is also not clear whether members of the coalition would be willing to run under CDC's George Weah who has said he will not run second to anyone or political institution. It is also not clear how far Tubman, who has previously said he would not support or merge with anyone who had blood on their hands, is willing to go. The PRODEM party is the political arm of Sekou Damateh, a former rebel leader.

The statement said the seven political parties were represented during the talks by top Executive to include, CDC’s Ambassador George Weah, LINU’s Ambassador Winston Tubman, PRODEM’s Sekou Damate Konneh and Party Chairman Garbla V. Williams. Other present were Richard Panton and party stalwart Prof Wilson Tarpeh. The FDP was represented by its national Chairman Michael Nayou and Secretary General Peter Senneh.

The parties are also extending what they call a carte blanche invitation to all other opposition political parties to join their ranks in these consultative talks for the single goal of forming a common front in unseating through the ballot box, the ruling Unity Party.

It is not clear what the formation of the coalition does for recent attempts by the 2005 standard bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change George Weah and the party’s secretary general Lenn Eugene Nagbe to join forces with ruling party.

The coalition appears to be reuniting Winston Tubman with his former party, the National Democratic Party of Liberia.

The NDPL was formed in August 1984 by supporters of Samuel Doe, who came to power in a 1980 military coup. The party contested the 15 October 1985 elections with Doe as its presidential candidate. Doe won 50.93% of the vote in an election marred by allegations of extensive irregularities and electoral. The NDPL dominated both chambers of the legislature winning 21 of 26 seats in the Senate and 51 of 64 in the House of Representatives. In late 1989, a civil war broke out in the country and Doe was killed in 1990.

The party made a comeback in the first post war elections, conducted on July 19, 1997. George Boley, a former minister in the Doe administration, was the party's presidential candidate. He won only 1.26% of the vote, while the party failed to win any House or Senate seats.

Following yet another civil war, elections were held on October 11, 2005. The NDPL's presidential candidate, Tubman, placed fourth and won 9.2% of the vote. In concurrent legislative elections, the party won 2 seats in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives.

Like the NDPL, the The True Whig Party, also known as Liberian Whig Party, is also a former ruling party and was the only legal political party in Liberia for over 100 years, from 1878 to the coup of 1980.

The party lost power after Tubman's successor, William Tolbllert, was killed in an April 1980 coup by forces opposed to his clampdown on the political opposition and tolerance of corruption. It was then the opposition's turn to clamp down on the True Whig Party. The vast majority of its members and supporters left the party, but it struggled on as a minor party. The party participated in the 2005 elections as part of the coalition for the Transformation of Liberia.

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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