In this editorial, we are calling on the Chairman and other Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to summon George Weah, Standard Bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change and his Vice Standard Bearer, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, and strongly warn them that they CANNOT endorse candidates for legislative office in return for money.
Chairman Jerome Korkoya and his fellow Commissioners should tell Mr. Weah and Senator Taylor in no uncertain terms that candidacy for legislative positions in Liberia are NOT for sale.
We further suggest that Chairman Korkoya and his fellow Commissioners should call these two CDC leaders in and read to them The Riot Act, the Act passed by Parliament in 1714 that strongly warns anyone behaving badly to stop, or face very serious consequences. Chairman Korkoya and his team should warn Mr. Weah and company of that part of the Electoral Laws that states how a party’s candidates are chosen.
A party’s standard bearer, vice standard bearer and candidates for the Legislature are not positions for sale, but must be democratically chosen during party conventions, and no other way.
They—George Weah and Jewel Taylor—must be reminded that Liberia is a constitutional democracy. NEC must tell the two CDC party leaders in no uncertain terms that it is against Liberia’s Election Laws, that it is undemocratic, immoral, wrong, disgraceful and patently unconstitutional to SELL candidacies for the Legislature, and for any other elective or even appointive position. NEC should look carefully into the Electoral Laws of the country and let Weah know that he could lose his qualification as a party standard bearer should he engage in so crude, disgraceful, immoral, undemocratic and unconstitutional a scheme as to “SELL” candidacies. Any party that engages in so despicable an act stands to be disqualified and barred from contesting any election.
For if Liberia is a democracy—and it IS—the first on the continent of Africa—then such a selfish and wicked practice can never be condoned, lest Liberia, the continent’s oldest democracy, become a laughing stock.
This newspaper recently published an editorial asking, who are those that are determined to make Liberia remain a village on the continent of Africa?
George Weah is clearly one of those striving, because of his football popularity, to become President of Liberia—for what? To rule the country as a village tyrant who will sell the country for chicken change in the same way he intends selling his party’s sacred legislative candidacies, which should be reserved exclusively for democratic selection?
Oh Liberia! You mean that after all our country has been through—over a century of bad governance and mismanagement, leading to a deadly 14-year civil war that destroyed the country and reduced it to a failed state—we still have not learnt that corruption and greed do not lead us anywhere else but backward into national failure?
Why is George Weah determined to translate his football fame into greed, corruption and tyranny—since he is still popular with the ordinary people—tyranny of the majority, who will continue to drive our country into backwardness? Is that why he wants to be President of Liberia?
If that’s what it is—and it seems clearly that this is definitely the case, then we urge George Weah to leave Liberia alone and go sit down in retirement, because he has no good intentions for Liberia and has absolutely NO place in government. Liberians are not responsible that he squandered his football wealth on politics to become president, which as Charles Taylor said, is “the quickest way to become rich.”
How rich is Charles Taylor now? And alas! How fare the ordinary Liberian people, the majority of whom, according to latest statistics, are barely surviving on a dollar a day?
Chairman Korkoya and NEC Commissioners, please act NOW to set these all-important 2017 elections on an even, judicious, moral and constitutional course.