Four opposition political parties today, February 21, 2019, gathered to attest their signatures to a statement of commitment agreeing that that a fair, transparent and competitive democratic process is vital to Liberia’s long-term prosperity and security and recognizes the role of political parties as indispensable partners in national development as well as the strengthening of Liberia’s young democracy.
The four opposition political parties’ leaders including Mr. Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the former ruling Unity Party, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party, Mr. Benoni Urey, of the All Liberia Party and Mr. Alexander B. Cummings of the Alternative National Congress promised to hold the ruling CDC government’s feet to the fire.
Addressing recent allegation from the ruling CDC that the opposition were gearing up to assassinate President Weah, the opposition political parties noted, “As we set-out on this incline along our sojourn to democracy, we want to attract the parody and rants of apprehensive and hypocritical hordes hurling their aspersions of, to name a few “enemies of the state”, “assassins” , or even worse; but we will be inured to those antics and enjoin them to commit with us to broaden and deepen our democracy, and not to destroy or bury it. We would rather be engaged in the constructive exercise of nation-building and alleviating the burdens on our people.”
Speaking to reporters immediately after the signing of the statement of commitment, the political leader of the All Liberia Party, Mr. Benoni Urey, who was declared as the first rotating chairman of the arrangement, said the signing marks a history-making day for Liberia.
“Today Liberia is once again making history. Over the year we have heard the clarion call from Liberians both at home and abroad and also the call from our international partners of the need for the opposition to unite.”
Mr. Urey said the setting of the announcement at the former ruling Unity Party headquarters, signaled the first sign of unity by the four political leaders. “Today, we are signing a document that begins the process of the unity we have been craving for years. We have decided to put Liberia first and to attune our political agenda in the interest of Liberia and the Liberian people; and above our individual and partisan ambitions. We are taking the bold and concrete step which we hope will never be reversed or undone.”
Mr. Urey averred that the signing of what the political leaders call “The Statement of Commitment”, is the necessary first step along the path to assuring that Liberia moves forward on the right trajectory to align with other countries progressing toward a wholesome democracy.
Mr. Urey speaking further stressed, “We as political leaders must commit to this process as we will doing today by the signing of this statement. We are soliciting the help of our people by their insistence of our continuation of this collaboration. We as a people must ensure that our political leaders put the interest of the country and people paramount to theirs.”
Mr. Urey added that the collaboration is a further affirmation of the opposition leaders’ commitment to democracy and must be seen in a positive light by all Liberians and those looking from the outside.
This Mr. Urey declared suggests the increasing strength which is increasing in bounds and must not be allowed to whither and dissipate along the separate paths the four have pursued.
On the contrary, Mr. Urey said, the new arrangement will hold the ruling party to the full adherence to the constitution and Laws promoting and enhancing Liberia’s democracy.
Thursday’s announcement brought supporters from all four political parties and a cross section of Liberia.
Mr. Urey said the four parties have embarked upon a course that will strengthen and enhance democracy in Liberia which they hope would reverberate throughout Africa. “You have invested considerably in this enterprise of Democracy and the Rule of Law, we urge you to recommit yourselves to this process by encouraging and supporting this initiative.”
Addressing the plight of the oppressed and poverty-stricken Liberians, Mr. Urey lamented: “This democracy is a bank in which we must all invest. We must subscribe our fair portions to yield the dividends we want. Development and human advancement will not come with only material wealth, but when we can leverage the wealth and resources for all Liberians through our democracy then we can conveniently say that our democracy is at work.”
He said the new arrangement must be prepared to sacrifice whatever it takes to implant and sustain this democracy, and beyond to save our common patrimony, Liberia. “We all have made mistakes and missteps in the past. This has led us to where we are today. Fortunately for us as a people we have been given a new lease on life to correct our dark past.”
As part of the MOU, the four leaders expressed an aware of the weight and strength of political leaders’ collaborative and collective opinions on matters of national leadership, the rule of law, and accountability, as pillars of good governance.
“Today, we are signing a document that begins the process of the unity we have been craving for years. We have decided to put Liberia first and to attune our political agenda in the interest of Liberia and the Liberian people; and above our individual and partisan ambitions. We are taking the bold and concrete step which we hope will never be
The leaders also recognized the sacred responsibility always entrusted in national leaders by citizens to represent their interests and said they are committed to contribute at all levels of national engagement and development. “Aware that Liberia’s political process needs a selfless approach that subordinates our individual aspirations and ambitions to the national good, the leaders expressed a willingness to work together in the interest of Liberia for its survival, peace and prosperity which are of utmost priority and consideration.
Conscious of recent developments in the country, the four leaders acknowledged that individual and collective responsibility are key to reversing the deteriorating situation in the nation under the Weah-led government.
The leaders also expressed a desire to speak out and work toward improving the plight of the Liberian people while acknowledging the importance of multi-party democracy and the struggle for national inclusiveness.
The parties pledged to commit to forging, branding and/or rebranding, and supporting a common national interest which will serve the basis for their collaboration with a clear eye on keeping a focus on the welfare of the people, and not allowing our political differences and personal ambitions to derail the cooperation among Opposition Political Parties in the country.
The parties also agreed to openly and consistently engage and collaborate on various issues of concern to the people they represent and establish common national position that would promote a common agenda to aid, support and encourage the ongoing efforts of the individual political parties aimed at ensuring responsive governance and effective collaboration for the good of Liberia.
The four leaders used their time at the podium to observe moments of silence for victims of last week’s gold mine collapse in Nimba County as well as late Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff. “The tragic fate of the almost 40 of our brothers and sisters brings to the fore the deepening plight of the vast majority of our people who must scramble daily at great risk and peril to eke out a menial existence, amidst the wanton and reckless plunder and rape of our nation and resources, and the cascading torrent threatening our nascent democracy,” the leaders concluded.