Thousands of partisans of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) yesterday in Monrovia and throughout the country could not hold back their joy, with many of them proclaiming the beginning of an unspecified number of days of jubilation to celebrate former soccer star George Weah’s presidential victory.
NEC chairman Jerome Korkoya’s first provisional announcement that the CDC had secured 61.5 percent of the total 98.1 percent of the total votes tallied in the runoff elections, was overwhelmingly interpreted to mean that Weah has eclipsed Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai in the election.
And they are probably right.
From Paynesville to Duala and across the country, CDC partisans flooded the streets congratulating one another for a job well done. “We said we would retire old man Boakai,” many said.
Said a young female supporter near the ELWA Junction: “Today our problems will be over”; and like her, many of the young partisans are convinced that a Weah Administration will be the end of their ‘suffering.’
Of course, CDC partisans, particularly party leaders, including its deputy campaign manager for operations, Mulbah Morlu, did not express any surprise over the victory.
“It was a foregone conclusion that we (CDC) would win because for twelve years the UP did not do well for the country and we wanted a new party to take over from them,” said a partisan.
“We will be building a new Liberia to make sure that ordinary Liberians will get jobs and not suffer.”
Like him, many unemployed and unskilled Liberians are ‘sure’ that Weah’s leadership will change their economic difficulties for the better.
“Look at the price of gas,” another chipped in, though apparently dismissing claims by petroleum regulatory authorities including LPRC and the Ministry of Commerce, that Liberia’s petroleum prices are some of the lowest in the West African subregion. “Consider many of us who are not able to find work. Boakai served as vice president for twelve years and his government did not ease poverty and suffering… we will now have a president that loves the country and will satisfy our desires.”
Jubilating CDCians also have further expectations.
For instance, many of those interviewed for this article told the Daily Observer that past leaders, with particular reference to the outgoing administration, did some good, but was not enough. On the other hand there were those who said blankly: “The Unity Party government did nothing in the country!”
When they were reminded of the refurbished hydropower facility, the roads to Ganta and Buchanan, the new RIA terminal and runway and the new ministerial complex, many said: “It should not have taken 12 years to complete.”
Truly, many interviewed demonstrated bitterness towards the Unity Party; and while not blaming Boakai for what went wrong, they said he lost favor with them because he served 12 years as vice president under the current regime.
“What he did not do over the past twelve years,” a CDCian said, “he would not do it in the next six.”
In the midst of what they see as the UP’s failure to win the people over, they (CDCians) joined others and danced the night away.
And for the disappointed Unity Party and their partisans, they may have learned a bitter lesson in disunity and deception. Truly, Liberian politicians who participated in the just ended elections may also have come to learn the painful truth that Liberian voters are an unusual set of people. They’re not as gullible as politicians would like to think; and would hold their cards to their chests all the way to the ballot box.
“They vote because they like a candidate,” admitted a Liberty partisan, “not because they know a candidate’s ability” — an interesting point that may not have any meaning for those who are rejoicing for their hard earned victory.