Thursday, August 26, 2010

LAP, UP, LUP Merger Certified by National Elections Commission in Liberia

 -  Nat Nyuan Bayjay
Source: FrontPage Africa

Monrovia -

Days pending the certification of the Unity Party (UP), the Liberia Action Party (LAP) and the Liberia Unification Party (LUP) merger were categorized by diverse public opinions, the most dominant of which was the concern that the merger points to the country’s possible re-slip into what many think will rekindle the past old dark days of a one party system.

The Chairman of the merger, after receiving the certification of the merger from the National Elections Commission (NEC), told a team of journalists at the party’s national headquarters in Monrovia that the

country has had what he called the extremes of both the one party system and the multi-party system.

In his attempt to dismiss the perception that the coming together of political parties as alliances and mergers means the reawakening of the country’s past one party system, Councilor Varney Sherman, while describing the one-party era as unfortunate, observed that the introduction of the multi-party system in the mid-1980’s also went to the extreme that led to the country’s proliferation of parties that numbered over 20.

He noted that it was unfortunate to have one party state at the time but the manner in which so many parties sprang out when multi-party democracy came was alarming which led to another extreme.

Sherman: “The experience is that we moved from one extreme to another extreme. One party state was one extreme. Then, when they said multi-party state, we moved to some 20 parties. That was another extreme.”

The True Whig Party (TWP) ruled supreme during the country’s first 133 years of independence until the bloody 1980 coupe. In the intervening years of 1980-1984, all political party activities were suspended by

the military junta.

The country’s return to anticipated civilian rule in 1985 saw the lifting of suspended political party activities. Multi-party democracy was first introduced which saw that year’s elections being contested

by four parties, the first of its kind in the country’s more than century old history.

Then military ruler, the late Samuel Kanyon Doe’s People’s Redemption Council (PRC) transformation to the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL), the late Edward Beyan Kesselly’s Unity Party, the late

Jackson E. Doe’s Liberia Action Party and the late Gabriel Kpolleh’s Liberia Unification Party were the four parties that contested for the most contentious elections in Liberia’s electoral history.

The three deceased Liberian politicians, Doe, Kpolleh and Kessselly had envisioned the merging of the three political entities during the 1985 presidential elections that were believed to have been ragged by

former President Doe.

“It was a good thing that we had just four political parties contesting the 1985 elections. But that has burst into over 20 parties now”, Sherman stated.

“We are not going back to one party state. That was an unfortunate experience that we had”. He furthered that the multiple of political parties in the country signaled division. “It is an indication that we’re not united because it is not a good thing that a country of about 3.5 million people to have over 20 parties contesting for a single presidential seat.”

“Just take the 1985 platforms for all the political parties that contested. You’ll find that every one of them had the same platforms”, he added.

Comparing the United States’ two major political parties with over 300 million inhabitants which he thinks Liberia needs to emulate, he continued: “Our merger will not lead this country to one party rule. I will hope that the other 18 or more political parties will emulate our example.” Earlier, NEC’s Chairman James Fromayan during Wednesday’s certification ceremony urged the other parties to consider the possibility of forming mergers, coalitions and alliances that will enhance the country’s democratic process.

Fromayan: “Towards this end, we want to call on all political parties to emulate the example of the three political parties through the formation of mergers, alliances and coalitions in a more committed and

dedicated manner.”

Keen followers of Liberia’s political landscape have argued that opposition political parties continue to squander their chances of ascending to state power as the multi-party system has diminished their power to restrain the ruling party from usurping absolute power. They cite the 1985 general elections as a case in point because, according to them, the many parties that competed in the election resulted into the situation where there was no strong opposition party to the incumbent Doe.

The Special 1997 Elections were the first post-war general elections which was a replay of the ones held 12 years earlier-featuring a multiplicity of parties which Charles Taylor went on to win simply

because his rivalries failed to form any formidable coalition or alliance. Thirteen political parties contested.

The general elections of 2005 were again a replay of the 1997 general elections that featured a multiplicity of parties which ushered in President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf after 22 political parties contested

for a vacant presidential seat.

Political pundits are still arguing that there remains no viable opposition party to Sirleaf ahead of next year’s elections until a stronger and formidable coalition or alliance of leading opposition parties is consolidated other than the crack-prone newly formed Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) that comprises of football legend George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Councilor

Winston Tubman’s Liberia National Union (LINU), former President Taylor’s National Patriotic Party (NPP) and former warlord Sekou Damate Conneh’s Progressive Democratic Party (PRODEMP).

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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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