As 18 more days remaining for the holding of Liberia’s much anticipated general and presidential elections, presidential candidates are making their lat rounds around the country to impress electorates nationwide for their election come October 10, 2017.
Last week, the presidential candidate of the opposition of the Movement for Economic Change (MOVEE), Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, amidst dozens of supporters of his party boastfully told his partisans that he would recast the current national budget to focus on development and empowerment if elected President of Liberia.
Touring several communities in Nimba and Grand Bassa counties over the weekend, Dr. Jones said the world is watching to see what kind of change Liberians will opt for on October 10.
“Because you cannot say you want to change and then elect the same people who have made bad budgets that were never responsive to your development needs for the last 12 years,” he argued.
The former executive governor of the Central Bank of Liberia said past national budgets were ridden by recurrent expenditures, with a massive increase in the salaries of government officials.
He lamented on the poor salaries and benefits of teachers, nurses, police officers and other civil servants who are grossly underpaid, and noted that “The change Liberia needs begins with voting against those recycled politicians who have nothing new to offer the Liberian people.”
“If I am elected president,” Dr. Jones told the crowd at the various points of his interaction with his partisans, “I will recast the current budget with a focus on development and economic growth.”
Dr. Jones consistently spoke of the economic transformation as an inclusive development that could bring incredible hope to people’s lives, and assured that a MOVEE government will immediately reorganize the economy to put Liberians in charge of import activities.
“Liberia has an import based economy, which is already bad, but worse is that the imports are made by non-Liberians. So, we will immediately ensure that Liberians are in charge of the import sector. The Liberia Marketing Association will be empowered to import goods, and by that measure, you the market women will import what you are selling,” Dr. Jones assured marketers during his visit to five market centers.
MOVEE believes that engaging the electorate at community levels has much more political meaning and far-reaching impact than random crowd pulling rallies in regional municipalities in this new political dispensation, where there is a serious expression of frustration about public officials and a warranted show of disappointment on the faces of people about leadership letdowns by old and regular politicians.
He said such a situation has over time led to the general citizenry building mistrust and having a confidence crisis in government because the performance of past leaders has increasingly diminished public trust and confidence in government officials, which has led to skepticism about the credibility of people vying for public offices.
Making reference to recent events in Ghana and The Gambia, the MOVEE leader said voters there demonstrated the need for change with action.
“What has remained constant is voters’ quest for change to better their livelihood, and the messages of other parties are relatively alike, with the same approach of campaigning. But the Movement for Economic Empowerment has a new and strong message for change and a ticket that puts forth new faces with new ideas that can bring about the needed change Liberians are yearning for,” he said in Buchanan.
In Nimba County, Dr. Jones and his entourage visited Saclepea, Bahn, Garplay, Karnplay, Zorgowee, Sanniquellie, Zuleeyee and Ganta City, where a befitting rally was held at the MOVEE county headquarters following a street parade in the principal streets of Ganta.
In Grand Bassa County, Dr. Jones toured Owensgrove, Harmonville, Gio’s Town, Yeaway Camp, Gorblee (Compound 3), Frazier Town, St. John River as well as Compound # 4 in the concession area of the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC).
At a rally in Buchanan General Market, as in many other places, Dr. Jones was assured by marketers that he remains their choice for the ensuing presidential election.