‘Voters Must Not Reward Incompetence’

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The Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) has called on voters not to reward incompetence in the October presidential and legislative elections so that Liberia can move forward in its development.

In a statement reacting to the recent State of the Nation address delivered by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf a week ago, MOVEE said no nation that wants to move forward will reward incompetence, and certainly not one that has been stuck in the pit of underdevelopment for so long as Liberia has been.

MOVEE said while there was a list of achievements as outlined by President Sirleaf in her address, there was enough significant help from the international community that the government failed to use to better the Liberian people.

MOVEE recognized the restoration of Liberia’s image from that of a pariah nation, putting some order in the public administration system, reviving economic activity, creating some appreciation for the tenets of democracy, and obtaining significant cancellation of Liberia’s debt. However, MOVEE said there were not enough accomplishments to transform the expectations of the Liberian people.

“When one fails to do anything successfully when given the responsibility, that is called incompetence,” it said.

“The argument is not that nothing has been done, it is rather about the imperative to put Liberia on a new course that will bring about rapid transformation to make up for the many years of lagging behind.

“There are years that have been eaten up by the locusts of incompetence, the lack of political will to put the interest of the country first, nepotism, corruption, manipulation and vindictiveness in high places and shortsightedness,” MOVEE said.

The statement said, while “we acknowledge that the present administration did a number of good things, the lesson of experience from the past eleven years of the Unity Party Administration calls for change to speed up the process of inclusiveness, economic growth and development.

“In fact, the need for meaningful change has been a timeless song in Liberia’s long history. So, for the Movement for Economic Empowerment, this is not a criticism tainted by myopia to be laid only at the feet of the Sirleaf administration.”

The statement noted that while President Sirleaf highlighted the accomplishments of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) under Dr. Joseph Mills Jones as chairman of the Board of Governors and Executive Governor in the banking sector for the last eleven years, particularly the restoration of confidence in the financial sector, the champion of the establishment of a fast-track commercial court, among others, she did not mention the wide acknowledgment by the public of CBL’s efforts to improve access to finance for all segments of Liberian entrepreneurs, including market women, petty traders and farmers.

MOVEE said it is a political party whose philosophy takes direct aim against longstanding, abject poverty in Liberia and will offer the Liberian people a dose of action, “not promises and borrowed platitudes, as has been the case of the Sirleaf-Boakai Administration.”

It stated that the purpose of an annual message by the president to the legislature is not just a constitutional formality or an expression of the trappings of state power. “It is certainly not intended to provide a forum for shifting blames by the highest authority in the land.

“When the president speaks, people listen to be inspired; to hear ideas to move the nation forward; to get guidance from one in whom they have placed their hope; to hear words that paint a portrait of the people with a common destiny.

“Few things can demoralize a nation more, especially in times of national difficulties as is now the case in Liberia, than the passing of blame by its leader, or the failure to take responsibility and offer ideas for solving problems.”

MOVEE said, “Yes, we agree that the President was truthful on the matter of the dismal performance in fighting corruption and the slow progress towards reconciliation. But there was little in terms of outlining a way forward, which is why we elect Presidents and Vice Presidents.”

The statement said the government’s failure to provide enough resources of material, moral and political support to anti-graft commissions it established could lend credence to the argument that the Sirleaf-Boakai Administration was not fully committed to the cause for which these institutions were established.

MOVEE said due to “our history of missed opportunities, we need new vision, new talent, new commitment, and a new sense of urgency, all of which should add up into new leadership; and the Movement for Economic Empowerment is prepared to provide that new leadership for Liberia.”


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