HUGE HAZE OF confusion and uproar filled the political landscape sometimes ago when the CDC-led government, through Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, rebuffed the National Elections Commission (NEC) for sending ‘astronomical budget’ to hold two different elections in Montserrado and Bong Counties. The essence of the elections is to fill the vacuums created in the Liberian Senate by the election of then Senators George Weah (Montserrado) and Jewel Howard Taylor (Bong) as president and vice president respectively.
THE GOVERNMENT’S CONTENTION was and is that the Budget presented by the NEC in the tone of US$3.9 million was too huge and even unnecessary, given that the government had just taken over and therefore could not afford the amount for the elections, or it was too broke. The government, through Minister Tweah, also suggested it would trim the amount to one million dollars. He argued there were other priority areas Government needed to pay attention to for the wellbeing of the people, such as education, health and roads. He also suggested to the NEC to use the same people they used during the presidential elections of 2017.
HOWEVER LEGITIMIZED OR not Tweah’s position, unfolding developments within the rank and file of the CDC, the party that gave birth to the Government, seems to be a travesty of the very “no money’ chorus he singlehandedly raised and sang. The point being made is that the CDC has elected to use sitting lawmakers (Representative Saah Joseph and Melvin Cole) as their candidates for the pending senatorial showdown. What is being portended, with the choice of the two lawmakers as Candidates on the ticket of the CDC, is a possibility of other by-elections, if the two candidates are successful.
WE ARE BEGINNING to read into the situation is a lack of understanding or a failure to review its policies on positions on issue before coming public. That the government is crying of inheriting a ‘broke nation’ and at the same time subjecting the country to possible by-elections that is equally capital-intensive like the pending Senatorial election, is the greatest way to undermine itself. Or, if this is not undermining itself, then it is making mockery of the Liberian people. This is why, it is important for the CDC leadership to rethink the decision in order to avert a very serious embarrassment. Though the matrix of the much-talked-about ‘Pro Poor’ Agenda is yet to be displayed, we think committing the Country to possible by-elections is unwarranted.
WHILE IT IS the right of the Party to field candidates for elections, they cannot and must not be people already seated at the National Legislature, representing their constituencies. There are other partisans capable and qualified to ply the party’s colors in these elections and pull victories. To save the country millions of dollars, CDC must rethink the decision, as it is better late than never.