For Liberians the pending 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections slated for October will be a critical determining factor as to where Liberia heads after the polls or whether it will retrogress if the right leaders are not elected.
In the last five years, Liberians have endured economic hardship under the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government of President George Weah, a former international icon who his many supporters and followers had hope would lead Liberia to another level after former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf restored the country’s lost image and put it back within the comity of nations.
Prior to former President Sirleaf’s ascendancy Liberia was declared a failed and pariah State, whose fabrics were destroyed as a result of 14-year civil war, with warlords and rebel commanders plundering the nation’s resources at the detriment of the ordinary citizens.
In the end, a former Warlord, Charles Taylor got elected in 1997 overwhelmingly by the youthful population who were majority of the Taylor’s fighting forces during the days of the civil war. Before Taylor could complete his six-year term, he was forced into exile after another belligerent group, Liberians United for Democracy (LURD) launched a rebellion against his government, and with death toll rising unabated, and Taylor was asked by the United States government through President George W. Bush to step in order to say his country.
After an interim for two years, a democratically elected government was elected in 2005 that brought to power the Harvard educated Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was given the mandate by Liberians to rebuild the ruin country left behind by the 14-year civil war.
For 12 years unbroken years Mrs. Sirleaf and her Unity Party government managed to get Liberia’s international debt waived, thus giving the country the leverage to once more borrow in order to carry out infrastructure development to restore what the locusts have eaten for 14 years. The rest is history as Mrs. Sirleaf peacefully turned over power in January 2018 to former international football icon, George Weah and his CDC party.
At his inauguration, President Weah promised lift Liberia to another level where corruption would have no room, and that officials in his government would not be allowed to pocket statement clandestinely, and Liberians would not be spectators in their own economy.
Five years in the Weah administration and with just few months to holding of Presidential and Legislative elections, the opposition bloc as well as ordinary Liberians have continued to criticize the CDC-led government for what they term as bad governance, lack of rule of law, disregard for human rights, rampant corruption, among many others, thus dashing the hopes of Liberians who saw Weah as the messiah who would build upon the foundation left by Mrs. Sirleaf’s administration.
Under the Weah’s administration, the United States Treasury Department even had to sanction five officials for corrupt practices, including Senators Varney Sherman, Prince Y Johnson, former Minister of State Nathaniel McGill, former Solicitor General Sayma Syrenius Cephus and former National Port Authority (NPA) managing director Bill Twehway. Also the US government sanctioned former Passport Director Andrew Wanploe for allegedly selling Liberian diplomatic passports to non-Liberians, who the US government accused of drug smuggling and were threat to US national security.
National Democratic Allegiance (DNA) Gets NEC Blessings to Operate Fully
With just a few months ahead of the 2023 Presidential and General Elections, the National Elections Commission (NEC), on Friday, January 6, 2023 accredited the newly established Democratic National Allegiance (DNA) to feed a candidate in Liberia’s upcoming elections.
The Co-chairperson of NEC, Cllr. P. Teplah Reeves, performing the certification ceremony of the Democratic National Allegiance (DNA) challenged the Executive Committee to always use the 1986 Constitution and the New Elections Law to guide them in their political activities throughout the country.
The NEC Co-Chairperson informed the gathering that the certification exercise followed a thorough and in-depth process, showing that the DNA has met the minimum requirements set forth for the establishment of a political party.
The DNA with founding standard-bearer William Weah Tuider gained its accreditation over the weekend by the NEC Board of commissioners as a full political party to partake in Liberia’s upcoming.
Responding, the Executive Committee Chairperson, Sumo Nyinulo of the Democratic National Allegiance (DNA) promised to always use the 1986 Constitution and the New Elections Law to champion real and true democracy in Liberia for all Liberians.
After receiving the accreditation, the Secretary-General of the party, Ishmael Keita, lauded NEC for being swift in ensuring their party gained legitimacy as a recognized and law-abiding political institution in Liberia.
“Over the years within the political landscape of Liberia there hasn’t been much change that will transform the well-being of the Liberian Masses and it’s how time for Liberians to rally with the Democratic National Allegiance which has come to change the narrative of the political system,” Keita said.
Keita said the DNA headed by Mr. William Weah Tuider has come to change the narrative of politics in Liberia and bring hope to the struggling mass of the Liberian people through adequate education, good health system and proper well-being for all.
“Mr. William Tuider who is our standard-bearer has been one person who has been a law-abiding citizen and this is just an example that the DNA is here to help the Liberian people by ensuring the right things are done,” he added.
Mr. Keita further noted that the DNA will indeed change history and will not be a business-as-usual political party that only criticizes when it is not in power but when given state authorities changes over night for self and personal greed.
The DNA along with the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia, were the two parties accredited by NEC on Friday, January 6, 2023, in the conference room of the National Elections Commission (NEC) as a full political institution in Liberia.