The Complexity of Liberian Politics II
In continuation of discussion on the complexity of Liberian politics, it is generally acceptable that party politics in Liberia centers on an individual; even if a group of individuals conceptualize the formation of a political party, the one who puts in more cash and attracts the contacts becomes the “lord and gospel” or final arbiter of major political and economic decisions within that political party.
In dictating the direction of the party, while at the same time hiding under the canopy of democracy, such individual or political leader barricades himself or herself with “praising-singing” individuals or partisans.
Such persons strengthen their relationships with the political ‘principals’ by feeding them with inflicted impressions, as well as misinformation and disinformation to which the political leaders take pleasure in listening and base his/her decisions.
In the event wherein decisions of the party or nation’s interest are to be made, they rely on those in whom trust is built to make the final decisions. Other arguments aimed at portraying the true democratic image of the party or country, especially from stalwarts or officials perceived as ‘hardliners, may be considered counter-productive to the party’s progress. And attempts to make advancements in such engagements sometimes result to party-rivalries, marginalization, suspensions or expulsions from those political parties.
Take for examples the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, Liberia’s most populous political party. It is no secret that decisions within the CDC are and must be sanctioned by its political leader, Mr. George Manneh Weah.
The manners and forms in which Cole Bangalu, Jashua Sackie, Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, Chief Budu Wilson and others resigned or were suspended or expelled from the CDC clearly speaks to how political leaders influence decisions within their parties as stated previously. It is no secret that the “CDC is Mr. Weah and Mr. Weah is the CDC” because of his popularity in Liberia.
Many stalwarts and other followers of the CDC, including past and present lawmakers and a few other officials, Transport Minister Eugene Nagbe and others, as well as the late Representative Moses Tanapolie rose to such permanence because of their association/affiliation with George Weah and his CDC. The same even applies to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the ruling Unity Party, as well as Senator Prince Y. Johnson and his National Union for democratic Progress or NUDP.
If such political patronage in our party politics in Liberia continues to work its way through our political system, we as a nation may just be on an international public relations spree, in terms of giving inflicted impressions about our country’s democratic credentials to the outside world, probably because of individual international relations whereby we are not in adherence to democratic principles.
Despite the free speech, free press and movement being currently enjoyed here, probably because of the eager eyes of the international community on Liberia, political leaders must be more flexible in decision-making, most especially when there are other sides of decisions germinating from their political institutions. Such flexibility may to a greater extent reduce political tensions and even diminish hatred and other forms of animosity for our political leaders.
Liberia must not be allowed move at the “whims and caprices” of its political leaders, but the will of the people as represented in each and every political party or the government.