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Any of the Major Presidential Candidates Can Win the October 10 Election, Because Issues Are Not Important to the Liberian People

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh   

 

“You kill my ma, you kill my pa. I will vote for you.”

“Debate or no debate, I will vote for Weah.”

These are the slogans from the Liberian electorates in 1997, and now in 2017; (20 years later) about the presidential candidacies of then-rebel-leader Charles Taylor and George Manneh Weah.

Charles Taylor was the rebel leader who led the civil war that killed thousands of innocent Liberians, left many homeless, and destroyed the country.

Mr. Taylor was rewarded with the presidency when the Liberian electorates decided to ignore the heinous crimes that the killer committed, and chanted:

“You kill my ma, you kill my pa. I will vote for you.”

A gullible electorate in 1997 elected Charles Taylor President of Liberia.

George Manneh Weah ran from two crucial presidential debates in 2017 to attend to his little pet projects of meeting with corrupt African dictators, as if he didn’t know about the debates in advance.

As the Liberian people continued to mourn the loss of their loved ones from Charles Taylor’s senseless civil war, an insensitive and clueless George Weah have as his running mate the wife of the killer, Jewel Howard Taylor.

This is the height of insensitivity and stupidity.

However, Mr. Weah’s fanatical supporters care less whether he participates in a debate or not participate. They care less that he’s not even competent to govern a troubled country such as Liberia.

When Mr. Weah was questioned why he chose to escape the debates, his supporters answered:

“Debate or no debate, I will vote for Weah.”

Can you believe it? No accountability, period.

My position is clear.

I am not supporting any of the presidential candidates.

That’s because I am interested in debates and building and strengthening the nation’s broken institutions. I am also a strong believer in accountability and transparency.

I am not ready to elect another strong and unaccountable president who will continue the bad and unaccountable policies of the other president that got the country backward to where it is today.

Had I heard or read a bold and convincing platform from the candidates (including Weah) that focused on accountability and transparency, and building and strengthening institutions in Liberia, I surely would have jumped onboard to support that candidate.

So far, everybody wants to be president, but nobody is willing to deal with the issues that will make Liberia safe, livable, competitive, governable and truly democratic.

It is unfortunate that a sovereign country as Liberia is for 170 years since independence, cannot separate the function of government to serve the people of Liberia the way it was meant to be.

Liberia is a painfully corrupt, unsafe, broken and dysfunctional country that needs complete overhaul and a jolt of patriotism from its citizens to be a serious and competitive country.

Liberia needs a competent, visionary and compassionate leader, not a show boater who attracts attention by engaging in exhibitionism.

For example:

The courts are corrupt and some of the judges are weak and easily manipulated. In short, the Liberian judiciary, as some of us have observed for decades, is not a neutral and independent body.

Law enforcement lacked funding and the independence to investigate and solve crimes.

Remember after Harry A. Greaves was murdered under questionable political circumstances, the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, reportedly hired or bring into the country a foreign pathologist to do the autopsy.

Why President Sirleaf?

The same government that was accused of allegedly killing Mr. Greaves because of his criticism of the government, oversaw the investigation and announced the results.

The verdict. Harry A. Greaves drowned.

Where is neutrality, independence and accountability?

The centralized education system is painfully inefficient and corrupt, as we noticed in 2013 when 25,000 students failed an entrance exam to enter the University of Liberia.

Decentralize the public-school system and put it into the hands of local control, with an elected school board overseeing education.

The nation’s healthcare systems are not functioning adequately, and some even lacked prescription drugs and beds to admit sick patients. Poor and unemployed patients are turned away, as most patients cannot afford to pay for their healthcare needs.

Liberians are dying daily from treatable diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma, etc.

No transportation policy.

The nation’s streets and unpaved rural roads are impassable. Most bridges in rural Liberia have trees put across them for crossing. The roads are so bad that some of the presidential candidates flew in helicopters to campaign in rural Liberia.

I did not hear anything from the presidential candidates about a transportation policy that will expand streets, build sidewalks, pave streets and modernize the highways.

There are several trained Liberian-born pilots in the country, but there are no airplanes. However, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph N. Boakai are proud to constantly fly into foreign capitals in foreign commercial airplanes.

Why not invest in an airplane – a national airline that Liberia can proudly call its own, and Liberian pilots can proudly fly?

After 12 years of being in office, many parts of the country are in total and complete darkness. Simply put, no electricity. Why?

There is no tax policy.

How can the Liberian government claimed to print its own currency, but refused to use it? As it is in Liberia right now, the Liberian people, many of whom are poor and unemployed, are forced to use the so-called Liberian currency to do business transactions.

When these poor and unemployed Liberians receive remittances from their relatives from abroad, they are forced by the Liberian government to accept 25 percent in the meaningless Liberian dollars, and 75 percent in U.S. dollars.

Why?

The Liberian presidency is too powerful. 

And for over a century, the Liberian people lived at the mercy of the powerful president, who is famous for using his or her power and discretion to macro manage the courts and other institutions, manipulate impending decisions, enforce the laws of the land, and run the centralized Liberian government in the president’s own image.

The Liberian legislature is also a problem in the country. These individuals are only in power for the money, reportedly $15,000 a month; in a country where most Liberians live on $2.00 a day and cannot afford to buy a cup of rice.

That style of governance is not only a problem for the country and the Liberian people, it is a strangulating force that has hampered democracy, human growth and development.

I don’t believe one candidate have an advantage over the other in these elections, because there is no way to measure the magnitude of support for the candidates.

That’s because crowd size is in the eyes of the supporter. 

Any of the major presidential candidates can win the October 10 election, because the issues are unimportant to the electorates, and some of the candidates are playing the Liberian people.

Some Liberian voters are also playing themselves by being blind followers and blind supporters, even in the face of hunger, poverty and underdevelopment.

 

Category: Editorial, News Headlines

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