Liberia’s entertainment industry has had no space so far in the political discourse as the fever surrounding the electoral season heighten with just few days to the polls.
However, this blatant neglect on the part of presidential candidates has not stopped Liberian artists from voicing their support for candidates of their choice whom they think when elected will not just help improve the industry but the overall livelihood of the Liberian people.
And although many of these artists are frustrated over the lack of support to the sector over the years, they continue to be hopeful that a redeemer comes along.
As a result, many of these musicians have refused to be silent as the electioneering processes unfold, but have instead joined in the decision making process—being very active in the electoral process rallying behind their preferred choices by appearing on the campaign trails across the country.
Also, several international Liberian musicians are beginning to join the political fray, pledging their support to some of the candidates they feel can serve Liberia well. And one of these musicians is renowned artist Peter Cole.
The celebrated Cole, based in Senegal, would prefer the standard bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) to win the October 10 presidential polls. If his wish doesn’t come to pass, the best alternative he would like to see win is the candidate of the ruling Unity Party, Vice President Joseph Boakai.
According to the veteran musician, who has worked with Grammy award winner Youssou N’Dour, Cummings deserves to become president because he is not part of the old political establishment.
“It’s a much divided elections and I can’t predict a first round win for any candidate. But I am favorable to a Cummings or Boakai win. Their platforms and experience convince me that they can do a better job for our country at this time.
“ My first choice is Alexander Cummings because he represents a new beginning, a start from zero and the chance to rebuild. I am convinced that his knowledge and respect for teamwork in the private sector can forge a new direction.
“However, given the way analyses are made in Liberian politics, if he can’t be elected, the wealth of experience of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai will serve to stabilize our country.
“It’s a shame the outgoing president doesn’t seem to have a clear cut and vigorous policy about her succession. That makes this election very tense and they will play on her legacy in the ranks of other African statesmen who democratically left power,” Peter Cole said.
Meanwhile, “The Stay Alive” singer added that a great president or chief executive can only become a reality in Liberia only if the other branches of government perform their check and balance duties, which he thinks is possible under Cummings or Boakai.
“I believe in the leadership abilities of Cummings or Boakai to transform Liberia. But our people need to elect people who are qualified to become representatives. This can only happen when voters start to think and know the roles and responsibilities of their representatives and senators, which is primarily to present/represent their views so the government can work for their benefit.
“They should stop voting based on the notion that their representatives and senators should provide scholarships and handouts for their daily expenditure; and when they see their representatives, they’re only concerned about the little cash or items they can get,” Cole added.
The multiple awards winner also added that this has to stop or Liberia will never get a great or good president because when representatives and senators are bought easily by envelopes handed out for their votes on issues that affect us, it leaves the president in limbo.
“We need to ask our representatives for their stance on those issues of government that affect our lives. That’s how we can oblige them to make us have a good or great president,” he said. “In my view, it’s unfair to say this government has failed squarely only because of the executive branch. We need to change that analysis for the future if Liberia should progress and develop.”