With still two more years to the holding of general and presidential elections in Liberia, the leaders of several political parties are already amassing and preparing a strategy for victory in 2017.
An alliance of seven political parties under the banner, Progressive Coordinating Group (PCG), has declared that it will take state power in 2017.
The PCG includes the National Democratic Coalition (NDC), New Democratic Alternative of Liberia Movement-New DEAL, and Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD), comprising the Liberian People’s Party (LPP), the United People’s Party (UPP), and the Action for Democracy and Development (ADD).
The group’s spokesman, Sando Wayne, II, made the disclosure last Tuesday at a press conference in Monrovia.
Spokesman Wayne said it is 12 years since the end of the civil war and the return to democratic rule, but the situation in the country remains precarious.
Recounting what he called the failure of the Unity Party-led administration Mr. Wayne believes it is an indication that the UP is not capable of creating wealth, jobs or growing a middle-income society as it had promised.
“There is widespread corruption in high places compared to the past. The educational system is a mess, with 62 percent of Liberian youth in school yet 82 percent never completes the 12th grade,” he stated.
With all these bad results, the state of impunity continues to undermine peace building, national healing and reconciliation, said Wayne.
“Moreover, with the increased economic activities in Liberia, it is painful to note that we have not balanced our budget in the last three years and poverty still remains our greatest enemy, particularly among the youth, who comprise 70 percent of the under-35 population and 88 percent of the unemployed,” Wayne said.
Wayne further decried that 80 percent of Liberians are living on less than US$1.00 a day, yet “we have spent more than 280 million United States dollars on public relations, without legislative approval, as required by law.”
According to him, the PCG’s investment in Liberia’s reform is more than protecting the choice of a single progressive grouping or party. “We are resolved to consolidate all the progressive actors and to seek political power and govern the country together, in 2017 and beyond.”
The PCG’s quest for the presidency, Mr. Wayne said, is about protecting multiparty democracy, maintaining an inclusive society with the governing structure comprehensively decentralized, as well as a the rule-based system of justice and equality.
At the appropriate time, he said, the progressives will focus on two key issues, which include the work they did from the 70s to the 90s as the Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL), Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), Liberian National Student Union (LINSU), Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Liberia People’s Party.
“We sought to reform the country, tackle corruption, and strengthen democratic institutions,” Mr. Wayne noted, adding that the Progressives are “proud of what we did in the past and will continue to do same to put our country on a democratic and prosperous trajectory.”
He conceded, however, that during the 14 year civil war and national upheavals, the progressive and broad-minded Liberians were unfortunately in disarray, leaderless, disorganized, and fragmented into various splinter groups. This, he admitted, created the perfect situation for remnants of the oligarchy to regroup and rally the support of the volunteer political opportunists as an option for a viable national leadership.