Could Weah Emerge Winner in 2023, All Things Held Constant?

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For all what it is worth, opposition political parties appear bent and perhaps fixated on a singular objective – the defeat of the Weah-led CDC at the 2023 polls.

They point to results of the last senatorial elections in which the CDC lost heavily as the writing on the wall foretelling the fall of the CDC.

To ensure this, some opposition parties, notably the former ruling Unity Party, the Alternative National Congress, the All Liberian Party and the Liberty Party have since formed a collaborative venture with the hope of fielding a single ticket to oppose George Weah in 2023.

Already, the jostling has begun in earnest.

There are indications that ANC leader Alexander Cummings is looking forward to his emergence as front-runner on the ticket of the Collaborating Political Parties but yet prepared to go it alone if needs be.

On the other hand, former Vice President Joseph Boakai has not only declared himself fit to lead but also as the only one capable of defeating George Weah at the 2023 polls.

Liberty Party leader Nyomblee Karnga is calling for the inclusion of a female on the Presidential ticket and is reportedly being wooed by both Cummings and Boakai.  

As 2023 is still relatively a long way off, only time will tell just how this CPP arrangement is going to play out. But there may be other claimants to the throne as well, some of who may be biding time and weighing their chances.

Others appear not so circumspect and have already entered the fray. Foremost amongst these individuals is the Dr. Daniel Cassell who has already declared his intentions to contest in 2023.

Of late, he has been on a spending splurge and making political statements, perhaps intended to make his presence known and felt.

But aside from declarations of intent to contest and open criticism of this government for a host of ills, especially corruption, none of the current crop of political parties or presidential aspirants has added anything new to the national discourse.

Aside from references to the dismal state of the economy, no political party has so far laid out an economic blueprint on which valued judgement can be made. What President Weah fetes as his Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development is in essence a rehash of President Sirleaf’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

And the consequences are plain for all to see. President Sirleaf’s strategy was based primarily on growth spurred by huge inflows of foreign capital, otherwise referred to as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

A total of approximately US$16 billion in Foreign Direct Investment flowed into the country. The economy did indeed grow but, at the end of the day, the development such growth was intended to foster remained elusive.

By the time she left office, the national debt which she had reduced to zero through debt forgiveness, had soared to nearly 1bn US dollars with virtually nothing to show as development.

President Weah’s PAPD strategy, as noted earlier, is but a rehash of President Sirleaf’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). However, foreign capital inflows in his administration have virtually dried up.

Presidential aspirant Alexander Cummings, for his part, has declared it is possible to grow the budget to 2 billion by cutting waste.

But his critics contend that he has so far not provided a clear road map of how he intends to achieve his declared intent to grow the budget to US$2bn.

But it is not the lack of identifiable and relevant issues that is responsible for this, says a Liberian political economist. Rather, according to him, it is the lack of ability to recognize that the Liberian economy, structured as it is along neoliberal lines, is geared towards the benefit of predatory foreign corporate interests and not those of the Liberian nation and people.

And no party yet appears prepared to change this paradigm.

Why should the World Bank, and not Liberia, for example, be a shareholder in the gold-rich Kinjor mines and at the same time be a major creditor to Liberia, he asked.

Why foreign donor assistance to agriculture in Liberia totaling US$50 million in 2017 was not used to produce food in Liberia but was instead given to the Word Food Program (WFP)  to import food to feed Liberians?

These are but a few of the hard and relevant questions that national political leaders appear too timid to ask. Judging from the current discourse, such issues appear to play second-fiddle to that of President Weah’s perceived failure to “mend fences” with the US Government which has allegedly impaired his ability to pay official visits to the US.

Former President Charles Taylor, prior to his exile in Nigeria, told journalists that amongst his greatest regrets was his inability to reconcile his differences with America, noting that any Liberian leader, to be successful, must cultivate good relations with Washington.

He was however careful to stress that he was not the kind of leader who would take or who took “late night phone instructions from Washington”.

Taylor reportedly told aides that he was at odds with Washington.

And according to him it was due to his unflinching stance on state participation in the exploration, production, and export of oil, as was reflected in the 2001 New Petroleum Law, which also provided for 10 percent equity for Liberians desirous of participating in the oil sector.

Unlike Taylor, President Sirleaf enjoyed good relations with Washington during both the Bush and Obama administrations. She was a regular visitor to the White House during the Bush years.

The question is, did she take late-night phone instructions from Washington as some critics suggest?

Whether such had any play in her decision to sign a predatory concession agreement with ExxonMobil outside the ambit of the 2001 Petroleum law, which was not amended until two (2) years after the signing into law of the ExxonMobil Agreement, remains speculative, at least for now.

The question now is, will the Biden Administration be prepared to accept a national leadership unfavorably predisposed to taking late-night phone instructions from Washington?

If not, then the change from a Weah to a Boakai or even to a Cummings may have no impactful difference.

From the other side, it appears that Weah may very well be the best fit, as he can be easily managed or coerced, it is perceived.

It should therefore come as no surprise, all things being constant, that Weah could likely emerge winner in 2023. But can he in a free, transparent, fair and unfettered voting process? Only time will tell!

9 COMMENTS

  1. It is 99.9% possible for Weah to become victorious in the 2023 presidential contest. In my honest opinion, there are two things Weah should do in order to weaken and salvage his enemies’ defences before the 2023 presidential contest.

    (1). Weah should reshuffle or terminate some of his incompetent, unproductive and money-grubbing advisors and cabinet Ministers. Some of those people have served in the government for too long and therefore brain-drained. To put it mildly, some Ministers are “out of it” or maybe “spaced out”! And

    (2). Weah should craft a good relationship with the United States of America! Regardless of what some doomsayers (in and out of government) may say the US did or did not do in Liberia, I think Weah should seek ways in which relations with the US can be improved or upgraded to an acceptable level.

    There are some Liberians who spread the false narrative that “we can do it” without the US. That kind of thinking is a boldface lie! No country should be an island. Secondly, an undeveloped country like Liberia shouldn’t be “doing it alone” without our traditional friend, the US.

    Fostering a good relationship with the US does not mean that we will forever be dependent. On the the other hand, if we cannot get things done economically and politically, why can’t we be submissive and seek strategic assistance from the US? By contrast, Asian countries invest in Liberia. But in reality, Liberians gain nothing in return. It makes no sense to alienate the US!

    There’s no doubt that Liberia is presently faced with difficulties (although those difficulties weren’t created by Weah) but those difficulties can be reversed if Weah brings on board a new crop of good Liberian thinkers and if the US is made to believe that the government of Liberia is serious about fostering a good relationship.

    In summation, I am convinced that Weah will march to victory in 2023 without sweat if he brings on board a clean slate of patriotic Liberians who will advance his agenda locally and internationally.

  2. Greetings, Grand Frere!
    For once, I agree with you at 99%

    It is indeed possible if Weah takes into consideration the 2 points you made.

    Point 1: Cabinet Reshuffle
    Weah can surely get a win if he decides to reshuffle his cabinet today and get rid of some managers in public corporations as well as some key educational and economic policy makers. In so doing, the economy will know a boom and some FIXES embarked on to be extended in his second term.
    But the million-dollar question is: Can Weah do without McGill or Tweah or the Don Papay or the Preacher men? My answer is a BIG NO!!!

    Point 2: Relationship with the USA
    To easily succeed in developing Liberia as we dream, we need the USA at every step. With the current educational level of Liberia, nothing can be done right without the US Government.
    We could not have been proud of the standing Liberian army if it were not for the USA. We need the USA to build our economy, revamp our educational system and impact patriotism into us.

    Like you, I strongly believe no Asian countries will fairly and frankly help Liberia without being involved in deep hypocrisy and unsanitary practices.
    We are blindly decorating people who have been and continue to be vampires of our economy. With them, we can stay on for century without any improvement.

    However, there are some very dodgy political and economic operators from the USA we should be mindful of. The people of the USA are great, but the morality of the US Government’s representatives to Liberia can sometimes be questionable, beware!

    Given the precedent set by Weah upon taking the oath of office, in view of his opinion and knowledge on governance, politics and administration, Weah cannot easily work with the US Government.
    It means he will easily be beaten in 2023 by the ANC of Alexander B. Cummings. Don’t cry for him, he’s done much (harm r good) to Liberia already. Let him go and have some nice rest in Jamaica, as he’s pocketed enough of our cash and resources.

  3. Politics is the art of the possible. And sometimes in politics, one never says, “Never.” However, in many instances those who are successful politicians usually have the requisite education and experience in the arena.

    Weah’s circumstances have had him to depend heavily on individuals who are bad actors and only make decisions to help themselves. And given the level of his intellectual acumen, these actors have concluded to themselves to harness his improprieties to their own advantage.

    What adds to Weah’s problems more is his own morbid obsession with materialism, greed, and corruption. These are undoubtedly his Achille’s heels, and they are leading to his fast undoing. To worsen his predicament, his so-called right-hand men now understand that with the level of information they have about him, they have become indispensable elements in his government.

    After having surrounded himself with characters of negative notoriety, which has lead to a very low popularity rating, and an almost irredeemable dismal public image of a president, the question now is can Weah summon the courage to pull this off, or will he choose instead to compromise his presidency to protect friends and kinsmen? Only time will tell.

  4. Only people who

    (1) have no essential understanding about the political psychology of electorates viz presidential voting, hence they

    (2) suffer the cognitive rigidity of having no idea about the political bystander phenomenon malaise which has long destroyed all formidable immunizations of the major and minor opposition blocks against a de facto or de jure presidential incumbents power backed by intermediaries (political subdivisional traditional elders, religious leaders, chiefs, kingmakers, etc.) and activists (THE YOUNG PEOPLE) via whose directions the bulk of the voters cast their ballots for the presidency, have

    (3) not been able to long discern that His Excellency President George Forky Klon Jlaleh Gbah Ku GbehTarpeh Manneh Weah IS DEFINITIVELY THE WINNER OF THE 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS! Just as

    (4) made evident in the cases of Jerry John Rawlings, Charles Ghankay Taylor, Lee Kuan Hew, Barack Obama, etc. etc.

  5. Mr. George Manneh Weah under two key circumstances could win the 2023 election should these controlling things be equal and take place synchronously, come 2023.

    1) Mr. Weah terminates his so-called key and trusted Ministers whose action and neglect of Liberia and its people have totally pitched Liberia and its people clearly against Mr. Weah and his CDC-led Government and should he start to undertake major development prior to 2023.

    2) Should the Unity Party (UP), ALL Liberians Party (ALP), Liberty Party (LP), and Alternative National Congress (ANC), fail and refuse to stay and hold together as a political unit.

    Reflecting on how much few so-called key Ministers and trusted Associates in Mr. Weah and his CDC-led Government have known and do know of Mr. George Weah and his CDC-led Government’s actions and dealings, all things being equal, Mr. Weah will prefer to keep them in his Government and under his control than to lose them to public opinion and pressure.

    Come to think about it and considering how apparently desperate Mr. Alex B. Cummings is and overwhelmingly craves to get elected the President of Liberia, on or before 2023, ANC and its group of diehard supporters and disciples might more likely than not, part way with CPP, and go alone, though Mr. Cummings and his group, absolutely stand no chance.

    Should Mr. Cummings and ANC part company with CPP, UP, ALP, and LP remaining in (CPP), the Boakai and Kangar-Lawrence CPP-led Ticket standing together, could hands-down defeat Mr. Weah and his CDC-led Government owing to Mr. Weah’s self-defeating records and dealings.

    Since Mr. Weah and his CDC-led regime have targeted and made enemies of everyone who is not in CDC, his defeat and the defeat of CDC come 2023, is obvious and certain.

    Above all else, our people are fed-up with the economic hardship and secret killings!

  6. Cllr. Jayweh, there will be a compromise within the CPP before the 2023 elections!

    As a diehard support or “apologist” or disciple of the ANC of Alexander B. Cummings, personally, I WILL NOT want us to go to elections in 2023 with that coalition. There are some bad and dangerous elements within that coalition that can undermine our drive and patriotism for the country.
    Joining a governing team with them is like the Jews-Gentiles relationship. However, there are some great people in the coalition, but they seem to be under the emprise of some of the worst war and economic criminals within the coalition. Nevertheless, it will be taken care of tactfully.

    There are some good combinations within the coalition: A Cummings-Yonblee Karngar or Cummings-Dillon or Cummings-H. Flomo Tokpa or Cummings-Gwaikolo ticket. These are all possible winning combinations from any point of view.
    The worst-case scenario some of us may accept with much reservation is a Boakai-Cummings ticket. Mr. Cummings may not like this idea either, but we will beg him if such option should be the ultimate sacrifice to make to undo Weah and thugs from our country.

  7. Mr. Dolo,
    I take it and I would like you, suppose and accept a compromise in the CPP to keep and move Liberia and our suffering and abused people forward. Anything and everything to keep Mr. George Manneh Weah and his CDC-led Government out of power and control of Liberia’s revenues and resources out of the hands of Mr. Weah and his CDC-led Government, certainly will be outstanding and acceptable to every well-meaning Liberian.

    If and should Mr. Alex B. Cummings accept and consent to the glorious idea of becoming and joining hands with Dr. Joseph N. Boakai and as the VP Candidate on the CPP-led Ticket and in a CPP-led Government, to Liberia and Liberians, this will gladly be supported and voted for by our people, come 2023. Regionally and internationally, Liberia and our people have been discounted and reduced to nothing. Painfully, the Ivory Coast and its unconstitutional Government amongst all the 15 ECOWAS Counties in West Africa, having apparently murdered fellow Liberians and without the slightest shame, named Liberia and its people as her foreign attackers.

    Today, everywhere you go, Liberia and our people are sold regionally and short-changed internationally for less than 30 pieces of silver.

    Come what may, Liberia and our people will rise again and Liberia will again take its historic role again in Africa. I will admonish Mr. Cummings and his group to remain in the CPP.

    Liberia and our people are certainly better than the CPP or any other political group at this stage!

    Liberia and our people are fed-up with the economic hardship and unexplained and secret killings that have totally overwhelmed and engulfed Liberia.

  8. I think there will be a runoff if Cummings decides to run as his party candidate because I doubt a three-way split of the vote will yield any single candidate enough votes to win outright. A runoff will likely be between Cummings and Weah, and Cummings will beat Weah simply because Liberians are very unhappy with him. In the United States’ election, Trump was so hated and unpopular so Joe Biden just walked in and defeated him. Weah is very weak politically so Boakai or Cummings will defeat him. People will definitely not want another six years of Weah. Liberians are a forgiven people but not when it comes to six more years of hardship. They have lost confidence in Weah, no doubt.

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