-Says they cannot perform miracles overnight
The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has called on all Liberians, particularly die-hard supporters of the President-elect and Vice President-elect, George Manneh Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor to manage their high expectations.
“Because,” he said, “they cannot perform miracles overnight for the changes that are highly expected in the country.”
Speaking to the Daily Observer on Sunday, December 31, ECC’s chairman, Oscar Bloh said ‘change’ takes time and meeting the required needs of the very ‘change’ is based on principles, law, and policies.
“We understand that there are high expectations of President-Elect, George Weah. Some are unrealistic while others are genuine, but an individual control mechanism has to be considered not be purportedly deceived by individual’s expectation and shifts the blame on the new leadership,” Mr. Bloh said.
He noted that “In as much as the government has the responsibility to improve the living standards of its peoples, the people must be willing to go along with the change.”
He added “Young people, as well as people of age, have to fit themselves in appropriate areas of service. They have to be willing to learn skills and acquire knowledge that will impact their lives, their fellow citizens, and communities because nothing good comes on a silver platter.”
Bloh, who serves as the mouthpiece for the ECC congratulated Weah and his Vice President-elect, Sen. Jewel Howard-Taylor, on their success at the December 26 polls but admonished the duo to live up to the expectations of the people who have, over the years, yearned for change.
He pointed out that as President-elect and Vice President-Elect, Weah and Taylor are not only heads of a coalition anymore but the entire nation, which includes other political parties, businesses and people of all diverse backgrounds.
About Weah’s desire to continue on the legacy of President Sirleaf,” he said, “it is a welcoming idea because good foundations should be maintained but Weah needs to be careful about how he goes on with his selection of government officials at the level of the Executive branch and the Judiciary.”
Concerning Weah’s wish to create a new agency to deal with human rights issues, Bloh said the ECC thinks this deserves careful consideration. “We already have the Independent National Human Rights Commission (INHRC), the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and several other agencies that are pursuing the maintenance and sustainability of human rights and ensuring that the court system dispenses justice fairly.
“All we think he needs to do is to strengthen those regulatory arms of government and empower them with the right minds so as to avoid a repeat of the system of impunity in the country,” Bloh said.
He pointed out that Weah has to ensure that government officials found guilty of corruption are not recompensed by being recycled.
“We will monitor the government of the day. Recycling officials wrongly is a threat to democratic progress. He has to be a leader of good principles and exhibit independence and maturity as he directs the affairs of the country,” he noted.
“ECC will be engaging the Weah led government to consider some basic reform processes. One is the need for a referendum to amend some provisions or articles of our constitution. Article 83c of the Constitution which states that parties involved in elections should take their complaints to the National Elections Commission (NEC) even if the very Commission is a party to a case. An independent body is needed to look into matters arising from electoral processes,” he said.
Bloh noted that there is a serious overhaul of the electoral management system and the justice system has to improve and be independent of political influence or other factors emanating from citizens based on prominence.
Touching more on ECC’s activities before, during and after the 2017 representative and presidential elections, he said the ECC, as chair of all civil society organizations, has created a space to ensure that the NEC, political parties, as well as President Sirleaf’s leadership, get Liberia back on its historic trajectory.