“The hard choices we make will indicate whether or not this nation is prepared to move ahead…” -Cooper
MacDella Cooper has resurfaced, this time as the standard bearer of the opposition Liberia Restoration Party (LRP), where she promised, if elected president at the October polls, to transform Liberia for the better, enough for every citizen to have the opportunity to improve his/her life.
Madam Cooper’s decision to quit the Union of Liberian Democrats (ULD) followed the party’s decision to reject her shortly after the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice annulled the result of the ULD convention earlier this year, though she claimed to have won the party’s standard bearer position.
Madam Cooper made the pronouncement yesterday at the LRP’s headquarters on 17th Street in Sinkor, where she and her running mate, Baptist prelate Reverend William R. Slocum, launched their campaign to the delight of the many sympathizers and supporters that had gathered at the party’s stronghold.
She told reporters that the outcome of the upcoming presidential and legislative elections will be a defining moment for Liberia and its citizens at home and abroad.
“The hard choices that we make will indicate whether or not this nation is prepared to move ahead or remain stuck in time,” Madam Cooper declared.
She said the 14 years of peace and stability in the country have allowed the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration to work along with the citizens and the international community in moving Liberia from its past condition to a 21st Century nation that is edging towards middle income status in terms of growth and development.
Liberia, Cooper said, still grapples with some “huge challenges” when it comes to education, healthcare, electricity, water, land reform, among others.
“We all know firsthand what our people endured in the remotest parts of Liberia. The sad part is that even today in most areas of our country, particularly in the southeast, our people remain stuck in a weird time-warp, as if the 14-year war has not ended,” she said.
She said the task to improve the lives of Liberians is far from complete, adding: “If elected, I remain confident that the change our people so desperately crave can only be realized when we ourselves are ready to change.”
She promised to make a holistic economic transformation through trickling down the country’s gains to the citizenry so they would “feel the ripple effects of development.”
Meanwhile, Madam Cooper said in the two months of campaigning, she and her team will robustly engage Liberians across the country as well as in the Diaspora on a soul-searching mission to listen, learn and document what works best for Liberia.
“Our approach to developmental problem solving will be a one-size-fits-all. The development needs of our people in the leeward counties will be different contextually from those in the urban areas,” she said.
The presidential hopeful called on Liberians to understand and propagate the message of hope and reform under her government so that Liberians can forever live and work together.
It can be recalled that Madam Cooper was elected on a ‘white ballot’ by partisans of the ULD as its standard bearer at the party’s national convention held on Saturday, April 22 in Monrovia.
At the time of her election, she told the delegates, who reportedly came from the 15 counties, that: “We have a war to win.”
However, shortly after she was elected, the party executives filed a writ of injunction challenging the result, after which she was denied the standard bearership.
At yesterday’s occasion, Madam Cooper said reconciling the nation will be her primary objective after winning the presidential and legislative elections in October.
She decried tribal politics and said her administration would celebrate diversity, “because Liberia belongs to all Liberians,” and promised to build a Liberia in which every child would have the right to free education.
She envisions a Liberia where every Liberian will have access to medical care and spoke about the passionate need for electricity in the country which, she said, “would draw neighbors to come and invest in Liberia.”