Since the commencement of postwar electoral activities in Liberia, unsubstantiated claims by the Congress for Democratic Change/Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) about cheating have always been the constant recitation.
In the 2005 runoff election, CDC standard bearer George Weah cried foul, saying the election was marred by fraud; denying him and his supporters of claiming the Liberian presidency that year.
Also in 2011 Weah and members of his CDC delusively dwelt on a wrong communication signed by National Elections Commission (NEC) former Chairman, James Fromayan, that they were cheated in the election that put Unity Party (UP) ahead of them in the second round that year.
Amid all the allegations and claims, this top opposition party has on no day challenged any result of these successive elections in the court or before the NEC Board of Commissioners, but its members have engaged in violent protests that led to the destruction of people’s properties.
Today, Mr. Weah continues to make reference to the same unsubstantiated claims, impressing upon his gullible supporters that their democratic rights will not be infringed upon this time around.
Upon returning to the country from the ECOWAS parliamentarian meeting, the CDC standard bearer told supporters that Liberians have for too long suffered at the hands of the Unity Party-led government and that it is CDC’s time to lead the country with people of diversified political and social backgrounds.
Not considering the legal proceedings that have characterized this 2017 election, and without the first thought that others who voted for candidates of different political parties have their own decisions to make in the runoff, Mr. Weah and his CDC members have reasoned that they are the next group of people to take on the mantle of authority in the country after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
This euphoric belief may be derived from two standpoints: The fact that CDC in the first round of the election on October 10 came up with 38.4% of the total votes, or rumors circulating that the President and her son Robert Sirleaf are supporting George Weah.
Be that as it may, the CDC standard bearer should by now be in a position to convince Liberians as to what he is capable of doing to correct all errors of current and past governments that have humiliated the Liberian people and kept them poor and backward.
The Liberian people, who are said to have suffered gravely at the hands of the Unity Party-led government, must be told how the CDC intends to improve the education and economic systems of the country. What, Mr. Weah, can you do differently to improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increase the literacy rate of Liberia from 43% to at least 75%?
Weah’s critics have always expressed concerns and fear that he is incompetent to lead such a politically complex country because he does not speak and understand the English language, the mode of communication in the country. With the high degree of enthusiasm to take over from an educated President whose administration most people agree has failed the country, how prepared are you, Mr. Weah, to lead the country, in order to dismiss successfully claims and perceptions of your critics?
How can you convince Liberians that you are prepared to represent them ably at the United Nations, African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Mano River Union, when we are frequently informed that you have always turned over your responsibility at the ECOWAS Parliament to others to perform?
Your followers have held on to unchallenged and unsubstantiated claims that their democratic rights have been infringed upon, setting the basis for violent sentiments by your followers.
Mr. Weah and the CDC should know that being ambitious and excited about victory ahead of the runoff is too premature, as humans can change at any time.
Instead of making a statement that will inspire violent feelings in people about the electoral process, we urge Mr. Weah to tell Liberians how competent he is to lead Liberia and to preside over the affairs of the state.
Can he give us a plan of action for dealing with the nation’s many problems—agricultural, cultural, democratic, developmental, diplomatic, educational, economic, financial, housing, infrastructural, judicial, monetary and scientific, the problems of national unity and cohesion.
We need to hear from you, Mr. Weah, what future you envision for Liberia and Liberians.
This, we think, is not asking too much of someone who is running a third time for the Liberian presidency.