Thursday, November 11, 2010

LIFE SUPPORT: Could a Stitch in Time Save Opposition’s ‘Best Chance’ To Beat Ellen?

By Rodney D. Sieh

Source: FrontPage Africa

Monrovia -

Just days after the signing of a communiqué with Charles Brumskine, the political leader of the Liberty Party, George Manneh Weah, Standard Bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change touched down in Monrovia to gather supporters at the party’s headquarters in Congotown where he faced an antsy crowd searching for answers about the validity of what was dominating the political airwaves: Is it true that he(Weah) had agreed to run Number Two to Brumskine?

When Weah left the mass of his core support base, it was evident that the proposed deal with Brumskine was still a work in progress needing a lot of selling to Weah’s grassroot supporters. In the aftermath since the signing, critics have faulted both Weah and Brumskine for not doing enough to sell the proposed ticket or Memorandum of Understanding to put up a formidable ticket for next year’s presidential elections.

Weeks later, the Brumskine-Weah pairing appears to be on the ropes amid squabbling and internal fighting among various forces within Weah’s CDC still divided over whether or not the football legend should run number two to Brumskine.

In reality, critics say neither Weah nor Brumskine are capable of beating the formidable incumbent Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on their own. Both are having problems raising campaign money on their own and appear to be in need of each other to really have any shot at control of state power. Weah’s lack of education and experience and Brumskine’s perceived inability to connect with the average voters are potential issues the pair may be forced to tackle if they ever get around to finalizing the deal.

In 2005, Weah won the first round of voting with 28.3% of the votes with Sirleaf coming in second with 19.8 percent of the votes. However, Weah lost in the November 8, 2005 run-off with Sirleaf claiming 59.4 percent of the votes to Weah’s 40.6. Ironically, Brumskine who won 13.9 percent in the first round did not endorse either candidate.

This time around, Sirleaf is entering the presidential race as the incumbent but will likely without the support of many of the candidates who backed her in the second round.

Dr. Joseph Korto of the Liberia Equal Rights Party who claimed 3.3 percent of the votes and threw his support behind Sirleaf in the second round was rewarded with the Minister of Education post but has since left the government amid a slew of corruption allegations. Nathaniel Barnes of the Liberia Destiny Party who claimed one percent of the vote was rewarded for throwing his weight behind Sirleaf with the lucrative Liberia’s Ambassador to the United Nations post and later Ambassador to the United States. Barnes has since left the government after he was asked to step aside. But even those who did not endorse Sirleaf, like Ambassador Winston Tubman, who finished fourth with 9.2 percent of the votes and threw his support behind Weah, now favors putting a formidable opposition coalition band to take on Sirleaf. Ironically, Varney Sherman who finished fifth with 7.8 percent of the votes is now the head of the ruling party making it more than likely that Sirleaf and the ruling party’s best chance lies in whether they are capable of retaining the 2011 presidential elections on a first round vote.

Political observers are keen to see how the efforts to seal the grand coalition plays out. Tubman, who had previously signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Weah has not hidden his dissatisfaction at being left out of the Brumskine-Weah equation. Tubman has suggested that he was under the impression that Weah would run second to him. Nevertheless, the veteran diplomat insists that he is committed to the cause of putting together a strong coalition to take on the ruling party.

But first, according to political observers, both Brumskine and Weah must find common ground and must be able to convince grassroots CDCians that the ticket will be in the interest of all and not just a few. Adding fuel to the fire is the complications of the Democratic Alliance, still not a political party but seemingly positioning itself as a haven of political intricacies.

Weah has not hidden his dislike for the DA and Brumskine, who recently signed on to the DA has withdrawn his interest.

For now, both Brumskine and Weah appear committed to the deal signed in Accra but risk losing the core of Weah supporters feeling left out of the equation.

Last week, Acarous Gray, Deputy Secretary General of the CDC urged partisans of CDC to reject without any fear or intimidation said communiqué signed in Accra, Ghana on grounds that it does not reflect the political identity and philosophical beliefs and values of the grassroots and Liberia's future. Said Gray: “Remember that our grassroot supporters are over eighty percent of our overall numerical strength; they have spoken in every slums, ghettos and villages of Liberia, a patriotic NO to this communiqué.”

The stall in the Brumskine-Weah formula is also complicated by concerns that Weah could lose some of his core supporters to the National Union for Democratic Progress headed by Prince Johnson, the former leader of the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia. But even more complications are on the horizon as the 2011 elections nears with many political pundits wondering whether the dream pairing will be able to hold or satisfy their supporters’ angst against the potential ticket. While much remains at stake, time may not be on the side of the Brumskine-Weah proposed marriage of political convenience. With the incumbent government already decided on returning in its current form: Sirleaf-Boakai, the ticket seen the most viable to put up a strong fight appears to be stuck in neutral gear. Unless it can survive the onslaught of disapproval from die-hard grassroot CDCians, it appears the dream pairing may be faced with the bleak reality that time may not be in its favor as the road to 2011 creeps in and the clock ticks toward an interesting political twist mired in a sea of internal squabbles and discontentment.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

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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