…. As President-Elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai begins steering the affairs of state in January 2024
As Liberians home and abroad await the second post-war peaceful handover of power from President George Weah to President-Elect Joseph Nyuma Boakai, the yearning for a dramatic change encompassing the fulfillment of yet another batch of campaigning promises cannot be overemphasized.
One civil society organization that stands tall in the country for following up with and checking promises from Presidential candidates who eventually win election is Naymote Partners for democratic Development. Naymote is on record for holding President George Weah’s feet to the fire to fulfill the dozens of campaign promises he made in 2017 after he declared his intention to seek a second term.
While Naymote’s report shows that Weah failed to deliver on a significant number of his campaign promises in six years of national leadership, the CSO is not giving up on similarly holding acciuntable President-Elect Joseph Boakai, who is said to have made ninety three (93) campaign promises he assured would be fulfilled under his six- year administration.
In its report in January 2023, Naymote disclosed that out of 292 promises made by outgoing President George Weah, only 24 of them, constituting 8% were fully implemented, something the CSO noted was a massive failure.
“Out of a total of 292 promises tracked during the assessment, only 24 promises (8%) have been fully implemented by the government over the last five years,” Naymote, which is one of the country’s most revered civil society organizations said in a report, title the President Meter project.
Eddie Jarwolo, Naymote’s Executive Director on Thursday, November 30, told journalists at a press conference that his organization seeks the fullest support of all citizens as well as civil society organizations and the media to participate in the initiative of following up on the campaign promises made by Boakai of the Unity Party. “It is our collective responsibility to ensure that political campaign promises translate into tangible actions that positively impact the lives of the Liberian people.”
“Naymote Partners for democratic Development is pleased to present the report on the tracking of campaign promises during the 2023 Presidential election. The institution meticulously monitored and documented 93 promises made by the Unity Party, led by Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., President elect who secured victory with 50.64 percent as announced by the NEC,” Jarwolo began as he addressed the press at his office in Paynesville.
He categorized his report on the campaign promises into six segments with focus on Microeconomic stability and infrastructure development for pillar one; Health, WASH, the Environment and Climate Change for pillar two; and Human Capacity development for pillar three.
For pillars four, five and six, he reported Governance and rule of Law; Gender, Youth, Children and Social Protection; and the Fight against corruption.
According to Jarwolo, these promises were derived from the Unity Party’s manifesto, campaign rallies, media engagements and public sentiments.
Under pillar one, Naymote’s boss said fifty eight (58) promises were tracked and they include economic aspects (8) promises, financial management (10) promises, agriculture (12) promises and natural resource management (3) promises while job creation contains (6) promises, commerce and industry (2) promises, Infrastructure development (5) promises, transportation (4) promises, Information Communication Technology (ICT) (3) promises and culture and tourism (5) promises.
For pillar two, which is centered around Health, WASH, the Environment and Climate Change, nine promises were tracked, focusing on health (6) promises, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) (1) promise, and environment and climate change (2) promises.
On Human Capacity development which falls under pillar three, he said seven promises were tracked under this pillar with primary focus on education.
“Under pillar four which has to do with Governance and rule of Law, seven promises emphasizing on foreign relations (1) promise, security (1) promise, rule of law (1) promise, accountability (2) promises, governance and transparency (2) promises, and reconciliation (1) promise were tracked,” Jarwolo disclosed.
He added: “In category five which has to do with “Gender, Youth, Children and Social Protection,” eight promises were tracked and documented, with focus on gender (1) promise, social protection (2) promises and youth empowerment (5) promises.”
Another crucial area, if not the most daunting task for the Boakai’s administration would be launching an uncompromising war against corruption, the menace that has torn the country down and deprived it of its progress and development at all levels.
Under this pillar, Naymote registered that Boakai made four promises and they were documented.
“Among the multitude of promises tracked, notable commitments include the reform of tax administration policies, targeted fiscal incentives for agriculture and light manufacturing, implementation of the treasury single account (TSA), introduction of a program budgeting system, and the road map for the de-dollarization of the Liberian economy,” Jarwolo said.
In closing, Naymote’s ED said his organization will begin tracking the performance of the Unity Party led government following the inauguration in January 2024.
Boakai served as Vice President to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from 2006 to 2017. He contested the 2017 Presidential election in an attempt to have succeeded his former boss but George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change won the popular vote of the electorates with the hope that the country could have made significant strides in its development pursuit but Weah failed to deliver, something that led to his defeat in this year’s Presidential race.
The Unity Party expects that Liberians brace their expectations based on ripple effects of Liberia’s indebtedness to international monetary systems but such expression might not be a strong enough defense if it fails to deliver on its campaign promises.