Caskets Steal the Show

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Some partisans of the ‘mighty’ Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) found themselves explaining to journalists why their numbers at the party headquarters were lower than expected.

“The limited number of our people here does not mean our number has reduced,” said a young CDician to journalists. “We come in different forms because we have other people.”

While no one opposed her Saturday after Senator George Weah selected the former wife of jailed President Charles Taylor as running mate, Weah, however, sought to calm the storm with an explanation of his choice, “because of her experience.”

He added that he made the choice “in the spirit of humanity, love and wisdom.”

Though CDC partisans were excited with the selection, the majority found it distasteful when other partisans carried two empty caskets on their heads at the occasion.

The empty caskets, according to them, were symbolic of the last days of the Unity Party, with which they are dissatisfied and are prepared “to gather any of UP’s remnants by October and send them to their grave.”

Many partisans believe that since President Sirleaf posed the greatest threat to Senator Weah’s ambition, evidenced by his two failed campaigns, with her out of the way, there can be no strong challengers to his bid.

But is it so?

Many partisans responded in the affirmative, more so after the CDC merger with two other parties, the Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP) and the National Patriotic Party (NPP), saying they can now count on additional followers of the new Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

Outside the party, many asked whether the Weah-Taylor ticket would be a winner. Talk shows monitored indicated that while Weah’s selection of Taylor says a lot about gender balance, it was in bad taste to bring caskets, no matter the reason, to such an occasion.

While it is easy to see that Weah’s CDC has lost its spirit and courage witnessed in the last two elections, what many say is that Senator Weah’s poor performance in the Senate has also diminished the courage of many of the partisans.

Pointing out several pillars that a CDC government will make priorities, Weah mentioned job creation, affordable health care, free-compulsory education, quality roads, including farm-to-market roads, and agriculture. However, the declaration of CDC’s priorities, many say, are mere statements since outside what happens in government proper, the coalition may be blowing smoke to tell their partisans what they want to hear.

Weah said the coalition government would fight against corruption by promoting accountability and empowering institutions responsible to fight corruption by prosecuting corrupt officials. Perhaps Senator Weah is aware of the existence of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and the General Auditing
Commission and the difficulties they face to get credible and courageous witnesses to help prosecute those accused of corruption.

But the most interesting comment on Saturday came from Senator Jewel Taylor, who called on their partisans, “across the length and breadth of our country, we call on all our partisans from the CDC from the NPP and the LPDP to return to base for we are beginning a journey together that will take us to the
Executive Mansion under the leadership of George Weah, the incoming President of the Republic of Liberia.”

Senator Taylor’s optimism garnered a roaring applause from the partisan crowd.

Many Liberians are not prepared to bet their last cent on any of the emerging candidates in October, since events of the coming months will have much bearing on the outcome of the elections. But for now, George Weah and the former First Lady have made their position clear to their partisans and the
Liberian people that they +are ready to bury the Unity Party leadership, once the only person that was obstructing Senator Weah is out of the way.

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