— Liberty Party says they are disappointed
In a statement over the weekend, the opposition Liberty Party (LP) has expressed disappointment against the government for being “inept, corrupt and incompetent, and the proven lack of progress of the country.”
The Liberty Party was reacting to the 2019 Scorecard of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in which Liberia failed to pass the minimally-required 10 out of 20 measures.
Quoting the President, LP said: “Our President (George Weah) was untroubled and shameless, when he said, ‘I am not disappointed’.”
On Friday, November 1, 2019, the MCC’s released it’s a country scorecard for 2020 with Liberia failing 12 of the 20 indicators. MCC uses the scorecard to qualify countries for it Compact.
The MCC Scorecard measures a country’s performance in three key areas: economic freedom, ruling justly, and investing in its people. Countries have to pass 10 of 20 indicators and must pass the Control of Corruption indicator to become eligible.
Liberia passed the control of corruption indicator this year, but significant work is needed across government and wider society regarding public perception of corruption. The scores this year will not affect Liberia’s Compact eligibility, which will be based on next year’s scorecard. The Government is challenged to work to improve in a whole set of areas.
However, in its rather lengthy and strongly-worded statement, LP said that the 2019 MCC Scorecard merely confirms what many Liberians are actually enduring under the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government, which is that every aspect of the national aspiration, and international reputation are being carelessly eroded, and seriously undermined.
The LP said it regretted that Liberia’s multiple international reports continue to confirm this fact. “Even worse, President George Weah has no clue, or simply does not care.”
“Well, Mr. President, the Liberty Party is disappointed!”
But in reaction to the report, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, whose statement was contained in Press release issues after the launch of the scorecard, said he is confident that the government believes there are significant opportunities for Liberia to improve its MCC Scorecard performance for FY 2021.
Said Mr. Nagbe: “The Government is working to ensure that ownership of the eligibility process is achieved at the highest levels of Government so that the right data can be reported in time to reflect the right performance of the country.”
In particular, the minister says, Liberia is looking to pass the Gender in the Economy Indicator next year, especially with the passage of the Domestic Violence Law in August of 2019, which he says, was not reflected in this year’s score because the passage came late.
With that statement, LP said it is disappointed by the “inept, corrupt and incompetent performance of your administration, and the proven lack of progress of our country. The 2019 MCC Scorecard merely confirms what many Liberians are actually enduring under the CDC-led government, which is that every aspects of our national aspiration and international reputation are being carelessly eroded and seriously undermined.”
In just two years of the Weah Presidency, even for Liberians, who believed in Weah’s promise of the slogan: “Change for Hope,” the LP said that Liberia is still hoping for change.
“The only change we see, and consistently confirmed by the international community, is one leading our people toward hopelessness in how quickly Liberia has descended, and how rapidly economic and political conditions have worsened,” the Party said.
The Liberty Party, according to the statement, takes President Weah seriously when he says he is not disappointed.
The Liberty Party, the statement noted, understands that to be disappointed with failure, one must necessarily understand what it means to succeed, as well as appreciate fully the expectations for the high office one occupies.
“As such, the Liberian President cannot be “disappointed” for having failed our country when he obviously has no expectation of the level of leadership that is required of the Office of President.”
LP said that every responsible and caring leader would be disappointed by any report, local and international, which independently confirms his/her administrations’s failure to do the right thing for his/her suffering people.
“According to the MCC, the Weah-led administration has failed to invest in its people, rule justly, and ensure equality in economic freedom, a failure which threatens Liberia’s continued qualification of and participation in the MCC.”
The Liberty Party named “Economic Freedom, Ruling Justly and Investing in People,” as the elements that are measured by the MCC, and coincidentally, these are also the pillars of the so-called Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
“Failing the MCC, as we have, is therefore, a failure of leadership to do what is right for our people. It is also a demonstration of a lack of commitment to the promises of the PAPD,” LP said.
The Liberty Party, the statement noted, knows that the MCC does not measure impossible conditions imposed on countries, “but actually measure good governance conditions elected, and responsible administrations should already be engaged to improve the economic, and political conditions of their countries; and the living standards of their people.
Moreover, it said that the scores are not isolated to one country.
“Each score measures the performance of one country against similarly-situated countries, and as an incentive for doing the right things, the MCC affords successful countries development assistance to address otherwise binding constraints to its continued inclusive growth and development.”
More than ever before, Liberty Party said Liberia needs the MCC Compact. “Therefore, Mr. President, the LP is very disappointed, not only that our country is failing, but that you don’t care, and that you are not disappointed in yourself, and the performance of your officials.”
The Liberty Party agreed with the President “we do need a “paradigm shift.”
However, LP argued that Liberia does not need a shift in the MCC measures to which all countries similar to Liberia are independently assessed; and as such the country needs a shift from two-years of excuses and blame-shifting to actually taking responsibility for the opportunity, which Liberians afforded the CDC to lead the country.
“The interests of Liberia will be best served by a shift from a focus on only building a political party to building our country. Rather than incompetence, which now overwhelms the performance of the Weah-led administration, the country craves a shift to competence and diligence.”
In the end, the leadership of LP warned that what the failing country needs the most is a real “paradigm shift from being just the Standard Bearer of the CDC, which is evidently prone to a focus on partisanship, loyalty and enmity toward other Liberians, to being the President Liberia, which focuses on inspiring all Liberians toward a better and brighter future irrespective of differences in political association, tribe, regional origin, gender and religion.”
The Liberty Party intimated that the country does not need the MCC to change its Scorecard to make it easy for the Weah-led administration to pass its promised commitments to the people, “nor do we need to be entered into tutorship about delivering on the best interests of our people. Liberians simply need the Weah-led administration to change from serving themselves to serving our people.”