MONROVIA – The Executive Director of the International Justice Group (IJG) Cllr. Jerome Verider foresees anger and violence at the end of the ensuing mid-term senatorial by elections if sufficient care is not taken to guide against rigging of the polls, considering that the Constitution of a partisan-NEC by President George Manneh Weah. The Liberian statesman and lawyer therefore says electoral reform is a must if such situation of anger and violence should be averted.
Cllr. Verider who is also the former Chairman of Liberia’s erstwhile Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) said “If there is no NEC reform before elections, Dillon, Dumoe and others are good candidates [who] risk losing unfairly under a rigged system that will spark anger and violence if sufficient care is not taken to guide against the rigging of the polls already in place by the Constitution of a partisan-NEC by President Weah.”
The Liberian lawyer based in the United States sees the remedy to safe the country from electoral violence as an effect monitoring strategy and electoral reforms, without which, he is sad, the candidates alluded to will stand no chance of winning.
The NEC, Cllr. Verdier observed, is stacked with Weah’s loyalists which now positions him as referee and player at the same time.
“This is undemocratic, no effective checks and balances with the Senate (Legislature) failing in its constitutional responsibilities as the First Branch and primary checkmate on the operations and actions of the Executive,” he said.
The vocal activists accused the Senate of leaning heavily towards perks and ‘brown envelope diplomacy’, adding, “… our democratic experiment stands at risk of failure. The pending election is already rigged in favor of the ruling CDC.”
And another successfully rigged elections, he maintained, will undermine Liberians’ yearnings for peace and reconciliation, and asserted that electoral reforms before the pending mid-term elections is a MUST if the country should not be bound for the dire consequences of fractious electioneering, turmoil, discord and disunity.
“The emergence of a second political alliance (The Rainbow Alliance) is a good news in the strengthening of our MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY, solidifying our aspirations and reducing the confusion of the very unique Liberian electorate,” Cllr. Verdier indicated.
He pointed out that the Liberian electorate is so often confronted with the confusing conglomeration of political parties, largely indistinguishable by party ideologies, policies or socio-economic and political platforms to address the overwhelming issues of human under development, ignorance, disease and poverty towards reconciling our people and achieving the millennium development goals (MDG).
Verdier accentuated that the IJG is gladdened by this movement towards political amalgamation which will eventually lead to one of its goals to reducing the number of political parties to three (3) political blocks in a workable, pluralistic democratic arrangement that will ensure STATE FUNDING of the three political blocks, left, right, and central, to guarantee that the country’s political party mechanism as an institution of democracy remains vibrant and viable.
“Our national aspirations for peace and security, justice and reconciliation, national development and political stability is significantly anchored on the strengthening and safeguarding our Liberian democracy which has been secured by the sweat and blood of over 250,000 of our compatriots who died during our fratricidal war.
The gains made at the expense of the sweet and blood of the more 250,000 compatriots who marched to martyrdom during Liberian civil debacle MUST now be jealously protected by selfless sacrifices, patriotism and fair and equal distribution of national resources to all, ensuring that the fruits of Liberian people’s labor are yielded to all and sundry.
Verdier concluded that doing so wisely guarantees “…the eventual destruction of the PREDATORY State and construction of the mindset heavily reliant and inspired by the INTERGENERATIONAL PRINCIPLE of natural (and national resource) exploitation for the benefit of all.”