— Supports June 7 planned protest
Opposition Liberty Party (LP) is on the back of President George Weah for “his government’s disregard for the rule of Law, the economic growth that has declined to below 0 per cent and the worsening unemployment rate.
LP meanwhile says it supports the June 7 ‘peaceful protest’ to remind the CDC-led government of the growing wave of economic hardship, uncontrollable corruption, flagrant constitutional violations, mob violence and clamp down on non-adherents.
On Tuesday, April 24, LP Chairman Stephen Zargo, said with just a little over one year of the CDC-led government, “the country continues to experience rapid decline in nearly all sectors of our governance framework, including sharp decline in the performance of the economy, as well as widespread acts of lawlessness and mysterious deaths of prominent citizens with elusive promises of police investigation or none at all.
LP said the party supports the June 7 planned peaceful protest to remind the government of the growing wave of economic hardship, uncontrollable corruption, flagrant constitutional violations, mob violence, clamp down on non-adherents across the country. According to Sen. Zargo, the planned protest is a fundamental tenet of democracy for the people to freely assemble and petition their government when it is so required.
“Our decision is further informed by the demonstrated indifference the President and officials continue to show in the face of the bruising economic hardship.
“As a party that is acclaimed for adherence to the rule of law, and given the sad history of recent violent protests organized by the CDC, while in opposition, and during the recent Montserrado County by-elections in district #13, we urge the organizers of the protest to remain peaceful and act in keeping with laws. On the Strength of the 1986 Constitution, it is the rights of the people to, at any and all times, assemble and express themselves on issues affecting their wellbeing,” Zargo said.
“During the course of the planning and implementation of the planned protest, the CDC-led Government must also take cognizance of its constitutional mandate to provide security for the protesters and constructively advert any plan by surrogates of the government to provoke violence as was done by Mayor Jefferson Koijee and his supporters in District 13.”
Chairman Zargo, who is also a Senator of Lofa County, said there are several incompetent people appointed by President Weah to strategic positions in the public sector, and it is conspicuous that the health care delivery system portrays a life-threatening decline as a result of the lack of basic medical supplies to major health centers.
“The civil service is overcrowded by political surrogates of the CDC, without a corresponding and practical alignment with the size of the national envelop, accountability, a cardinal part of good governance, is grossly lacking, as is also a clear demonstration of political will to punish people culpable of corruption,” the LP Chairman stated.
Sen. Zargo: “It is therefore no surprise that there is a rapid and astounding erosion of public confidence in the CDC-led Government.”
Flanked by the Unity Party (UP) chairman Wilmot Paye and LP’s Secretary General Jacob Smith, Zargo said when the CDC-led Government assumed state authority in 2018, the strength of the economy stood at over 2% growth rate, but as it is, economic growth has declined 0% to the extent that inflation has increased to more than 25%.
He pointed out that unemployment is worsening due to a growing wave of layoff exercises at major investments, and to complicate this economic nightmare, the US$25 million, which was intended to stabilize the exchange rate (currently at US$1 to L$175) was mismanaged, while some of the prime culprits, including Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Executive Governor Nathaniel Patray walk around scout-free.
The LP has meanwhile pleaded with the UN, EU, AU, ECOWAS and all foreign partners, who invested so much in the country’s peace process to keep eyes on the trend of events unfolding in our country; particularly the regrouping of former rebel commanders with government assistance.