Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Battle line Drawn

NDC Tightens Tides Ahead of Elections, Can they Defeat the Incumbent  
David B. Kolleh,, (231 631 0032)

The National Democratic Coalition (NDC), which consists of different opposition political parties, has formally signed a document that consummates into what is now being called the “Grand coalition” of the opposition block. The document was signed by five opposition political parties on Tuesday including the National Patriotic Party (NPP) New Deal Movement, Liberia Equal Right Party (LERP) United People’s Party (UPP), Free Democratic Party of Liberia (FDPL) and the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL).
Though Coalition officials say, they are now ready for the task of unseating the incumbent leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf through the ballot box this year, it seems they are still battling with bringing on board some of the big-guns in the Liberian Political landscape, including the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC)--- the party considered the largest opposition political party in Liberia, which won the first round of the 2005 polls but finished second to the ruling Unity Party (UP), the Liberty Party (LP) of Cllr. Charles Brumskine which also finished third during the 2005 elections, the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) of Senator Prince Y. Johnson among other parties. These parties’ absence from the coalition, according to the political pundits, places the hope of the entire opposition block on the edge of achieving its ultimate goal to unseat President Sirleaf.
Looking undeterred and unrelenting, the Standard Bearer of the National Democratic Coalition (NDC), Prof. Dew T. Mayson told supporters and fellow politicians who were at the program that Liberia’s transformation was not a matter of choice by a particular group of people, but rather a mandate that must come from the people themselves for the change Liberia needs at this time in its history.
Women of Liberia, for whose destiny this struggle of ours is so important. And the fact that your case you are the actual people who feel the pinch of suffering and nothingness every day. When I see you, I begin wondering as to what is hindering you from making the change Liberia needs. Are you going to permit the next six years to look like these last six years? We say a resounding no! And as I told my friend, I don’t know about them, but as for me Dew Tuan-wleh Mayson, I am tired of all of these trouble, I am tired of the unemployment of so many of our people, I am tired that you don’t have job that will enable you to buy food for your children, pay your children school fees, sent your children to hospital when they are sick and pay house rent, that is why we need a change.”
According to Prof. Mayson, traditional leaders are being harassed by the regime, in that they are not able to make independent political decisions as free citizens. If they did, he said, they will be fired by government which is their employer. “Thinking about it,” Mayson further said, “it brought tears to my eyes, but then, I said to myself why worry, it’s only about six more months now that we have to win, and those traditional leaders will have their national dignity and respect restored.”  
He assured the unemployed class of the country to remain focus and go to various communities and sensitized the public about the danger of voting in favor of the 10 years domicile clause. According to Professor Mayson, the referendum was being called by the current administration to give incumbent leader a constitutional chance of contesting the upcoming elections even though she is aware that she will lose the pending legislative and presidential elections to the opposition block.
“We now have a chance to give a blow to this government sooner than the elections day. I am talking about August 24 when they bring to us what they call a referendum and be asking us to vote. What they are saying in the referendum, they are saying instead of living here ten years before participating in the elections you must have lived here five years contrary to the Liberian constitution, because they know that’s the only time the president will be qualified to run.”       
For Senator Jewel Howard Taylor who comes from one of the vote-rich belts of the country---Bong County, she thinks that government has done too little over the period of its existence considering the international goodwill coming to the country.
Senator Taylor said she believes that the NDC is a bridge that has become stronger and is ready to withstand the challenges that lie before it, even during difficult times such as the one Liberian body politics is facing due to unprecedented political maneuvering from the regime. 
The Bong County Senator said the doors of the coalition is opened and will be ready to accept other opposition political parties that are sitting on the sideline watching the political drama that could affect every one if the current administration is given another mandate to lead the country.
“If they believe that we do not have the opportunity to win, speak to those whose homes have been broken down without getting any form of compensation. If you believe that we are not able to win these elections, speak to the security forces that have been laid off without any option for job. If you believe that we are not able to win these elections speak to the thousands of University graduate who are out every year and are not able to fine job. Yet this government pays US$40,000 to a few of its members, if you believe that we are not able to win these elections, go to the market and see how many of our women are suffering,”  he Bong County lawmaker said.