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What’s Wrong with Liberian Politics and the 2017 Presidential Candidates?

   By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh     


 I am sick of politics – Liberian politics for that matter.

 Liberian politics is not only sickening and inferior, it is irritating and lacking substance.

Except for the tabloid-like coverage of the presidential candidates from the dominant FrontPageAfrica, there are no debates between the presidential candidates, and there are no hard-hitting, non-pandering interviews from the press that explains what these individuals will do if one of them is elected President of Liberia.

Some members of the Monrovia-based press is not helping the issue either, but made it their duty to sell the only character they have to just about anybody, any Liberian politician for pieces of silver and gold, just to survive in Liberia’s tough economy.

This is frustrating and a mockery of Liberia’s fledgling democracy.

However, to be a “serious” Liberian politician or presidential candidate, the bar has to be much lower to be a contender.

In order to be seen as a serious contender for the Liberian presidency, the individual must be a painfully reticent and slumberous septuagenarian incumbent vice president who is running on whatever record (if any) he can seriously claim.

Not all.

You also must be a painfully inept and reticent runaway former football star with no intellectual curiosity, whose only claim to politics or fame is his football exploits; or be a former president pro-temporo of the Liberian senate, who once represented the dark values of a former rebel leader-killer-turned president, who is now sitting in prison for war crime.

If you are also a boisterous former rebel leader-turned-Senator whose name generates fear in hordes of people for his disreputable legacy of being a serial killer, you can make noise and be heard and taken seriously by some as a presidential candidate.

Also, to run for President of Liberia, remain silent and be unaccountable to the electorates, and you will probably be elected on your own recognizance.

However, if any of the individuals is not your choice for president, you can choose from the extensive list of wannabe candidates whom you probably know in-person by now, or whose names you probably already know.

The presidential candidates are making the rounds in Monrovia and in some parts of the country by not answering tough questions from the press, but are trying to get the votes that will eventually take the individual to the Executive Mansion, come 2018.

After the presidential and legislative elections are over, and as is customary in Liberia, the loosing candidates will pack up and leave the country for the United States or elsewhere, as if the Liberian presidency is a seasonal lottery for those that are trying their luck to win.

Some of the presidential candidates are naturalized U.S citizens or perhaps naturalized citizens elsewhere; and their spouses, children, their Victorian homes, mortgages and other family members not in Liberia, but overseas. The individuals are running for President of Liberia in violation of the nation’s anti-dual citizenship laws.

Just recently, it was reported that the current chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Jerome G. Korkoya, the guy who’s supposed to oversee the nation’s elections, is a naturalized U.S. citizen, in violation of the country’s election’s law.

During the 2011 presidential election, incumbent Ellen Johnson who was running for re-election that year, reportedly appointed members of the National Elections Commissions.

We know what happened during and after that election with the president’s appointed Chairman, James Fromoyan, who reportedly tampered with the election and tilted the results in favor of Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Mr. Fromoyan fled the country only to return later.

How credible can the upcoming elections be?

Truth is, I am uninterested in the presidential candidates and the 2017 presidential election. I am not even interested in their circuitous and repetitious display of outright lies and unaccountability, either.  

I am interested in proven results from grown-ups who will put people and country first; a serious person who is willing to sign a 200-day agreement with the Liberian people – that in the president’s first 200 days in office, he or she will do X or Y for the Liberian people and nation.

If the new president cannot fulfill this agreement, he or she must be held accountable by the Liberian people and be recalled from office.

Let the Liberian people decide what can and should be done to the president for breaking that promise.

The country and the Liberian people cannot afford to be played by individuals whose only contributions to the country is to run for president every election season, and leave the country immediately after the election is over.

Our country is broken. Corruption is way too high. Unemployment is way too high. There is no economic prosperity, and there is no development either.

The Liberian people are suffering too much.

My Liberian people, it just cannot be politics as usual.

For me, those days are long gone!

I am tired!



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