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Liberia2011 Campaign Talks: Elections Issues And Analysis
Thursday 14th July 2011
Upon declaration of campaign on July 5, 2011, political talks have begun to mount up as Election Day draws closer. Politicians vying for various electoral positions are giving out their platforms regarding what they will do for the Liberian people if they (people) give them (politicians) the votes.

Since campaign began, the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has not openly come out with its campaign messages to the Liberian people as to what it will do. However, the party that has drawn many of the young people has been vocal in criticizing the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led administration for an alleged rampant corruption and neglect of the youth.

The Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine too, sees the Unity Party flag bearer as one of the key players in the civil crisis that Liberia experienced for fourteen years in the country. Moreover, the standard bearer of the Liberty Party, Cllr. Brumskine, has persistently and consistently said that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is an old lady who should not occupy such public position any longer.

He has also told people of Nimba County that when he ascends to power, he would treat Ellen as a former President and won’t jail her for anything she might have done during her tenure. Prior to the declaration of campaign, the Liberty Party flag bearer also told members of the Bassa Ethnic group he is a member that they have to produce the next president for Liberia if they want their county to be developed.

A week to the declaration of campaign, Cllr. Brumskine held a major press conference in Monrovia where he disclosed his reconciliation plan for Liberia and outlined plans of creating on language that all Liberians will speak other than English, free education, amongst others.

The Movement for Progressive Change (MP) of Businessman Simeon Freeman has also embarked on industrialization and the standard bearer has openly said when he gets state power, he will industrialize the entire country where internet will be everywhere that people will not have to leave the hinterland to come to Monrovia or other towns to access information.
Though he was recently accused of not settling his obligation after having an alleged commercial sex with a lady, Mr. Freeman and his supporters who accused Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of devising the plan to expose him to public ridicule, has persistently and insistently stressed that Ellen has failed the Liberian people and by now she needs to give way.

The National Democratic Coalition (NDC) which foremost standard proposed standard bearer Dew Mason is being suspended from the party, has embarked on opening the eyes of the Liberian people to real politics and tackling the high rate of poverty in the country.

One of its key executive, former first lady and Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor had said earlier that the Ellen led administration is yet to fulfill its promises to the people of Liberia and there was a need for parties to collaboratively join to constitutionally bring down the Unity Party.

The National Union for Democratic Progress of former warlord Prince Johnson has also accused the Unity Party led government of corruption and discrimination in term of employment. The standard bearer Prince Johnson has promised to reciprocate corruption officials with execution when he ascends to power. He has also vowed to ensure justice which he thinks will minimize secret killings in Liberia.

The Unity Party itself is of the view that much has been done and much to come if the Ellen Johnson led administration remains in power. At a musical jamboree on the day of declaration of campaign, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf whom all oppositions target, told hundreds of supporters that ‘monkey’ was still working and ‘Banboon’ should wait to consume later.
Madam Sirleaf over has also told her opponent that plans are already in place to recommence massive development works in the dry season. She indicated that she and her Vice President Joseph Boakai are experienced people who already know the job and there is no need to bring novice who will learn on job.

In the presidential struggle, what the rest of the 28 registered political parties gear towards is the removal of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her code of officers. There is not yet any statement from any camp against another party except the Unity Party that all fingers point at.

Interestingly, as the competition grows high among mixed politicians, gender sensitivity too is creeping on the other side. Female Legislative aspirants too have begun gearing up campaign strategies to ensure that incumbents are all ruled out for allegedly failing the people whom they promise to represent.

Martha T. Norman, an aspirant of Bomi County expressed her ambition in an interview after recently held female aspirant workshop that those in the National Legislature have failed their people in policy making and fulfilling of campaign vows, and there was a need to boot them out and be replaced by other competent people.

Several women spoken to during this workshop expressed that they as women have been marginalized in the society and it was now time that they be involved because according to them, what men can do women can do it even better.
The women though encouraged to contest electoral positions, many of seem not to know much about the main jobs they are seeking to do. Most of them who availed themselves to speak to the press were observed not to have much knowledge in the English Language in which the affairs of the House and Senate can be conducted.

A couple of them spoke on building hand pump, latrine, roads, and school, amongst others. But are these the issues that legislative aspirants should embark on in the campaign? All developments in the country are implemented by the Executive Branch of Government that is headed by the President.

Legislators are there to make laws give advice to the Executive of state matters. The Senate especially is there to work side by side with the Executive in ensuring that both branches have check and balance. Anyway, this is how past campaign had been carried out. Aspirants and candidates will promise the electorate what do not lie in their preview, and when they ascend to the positions, only to later tell the voters that building bridge, school, or carrying on development is not their duty but the duty of the Executive. As a result of this way of campaigning, electorate also hold public officials by their words and this is one key factor that voters may likely vote incumbent out.

Meanwhile, one main challenge in Liberia now is the issue of Justice. Unlike past regimes that murderers could equally face execution for their actions or time frame for judging of cases at the court can be shorter, cases are delayed and in most instances suspected criminals after a long time in prison either escape or be set free. This has increased crime rate in the country with many how taking laws into their hands. With justice, Liberians whom reporter has chatted with have shown that corruption will be minimized and security will be ensured.

AEP

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