CDC PUTS ON MILITANT OPPOSITION REGALIA -Grills Up On Multiple Governance Fronts -Says Boakai Derailing Democratic Gains

MONROVIA: The foremost opposition party in the country, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), which lost political power barely five months ago, must have been preoccupied with pondering the odds of its devastating defeat to face its traditional rival, the governing Unity Party, with fangs and toxins with which it is known when in opposition. Much excesses must have passed by without the usual bold reaction from the party. There are those who however thought the CDC might have retreated into self-imposed sabbatical as a necessary wait-and-see political tactic of goodwill to allow the UP prove itself inept. Whatever the case, the party appears to assume its historic bellicose mood, yesterday descending on the ruling party with a very stern critique for “derailing all democratic gains” made in the last 20 years of post-conflict Liberia. The Analyst reports.

It seems former ruling party, the Coalition for Democratic Change, is now taking its rightly place as the country’s current biggest opposition political bloc following months of lull. Yesterday, at a well-attended press conference, the party under the acting chairmanship of Janga Kowo pestered the government Unity Party with the sternest of critique yet.

In a statement delivered Wednesday, May 29, 2024, the party called out the Boakai administration not for any fond mention, but charging it for being “antidemocratic, anti-people, anti-rule of law”.

The CDC alarmed that in just five months, the Unity Party government “is taking the country backwards and eroding all the democratic gains made and consolidated under the CDC Government”.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the press, we have assembled here today to continue the documentation of a failing regime, a regime which is fast collapsing under the weight of its own incompetence,” Chairman Kowo said in a statement amid deafening applauses of party militants. “A regime which came to power through an electoral accident- a victory deep within the margin of error. An electoral Victory of ‘Chance’, instead of ‘Change!’”

The CDC observed that the Unity Party government has launched a serious attack on the rule of law by disregarding and disrespecting the Supreme court ruling and taking arbitrary actions against tenure officials.

“While applauding monumental steps towards addressing the abuses of the past, we should not lose sight of the historical issues of exclusion, marginalization, abuse of power and disregard for the rule of law which culminated in the upheaval in the country that lasted 14 years,” the CDC said in a statement read by its acting Chairman Janga Kowo.

“But when such transgressions as flagrantly disregarding the Supreme Court decisions and protesters being shot at by a Police force meant to protect them; harassing and removing civil servants from positions without justifiable reasons and politicizing the security forces through arbitrary dismissals become commonplace, we are starkly reminded of the vices and vestiges of our difficult past that brought about the crisis in our country.”

Attack on former VP Taylor

Amongst the most outstanding bad governance tendencies of the Unity Party, the CDC used the press conference to condemn in the strongest terms the recent attack on the vehicle of the former Vice president of the Republic of Liberia, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor.

According to the CDC Chairman who read the statement, the former Vice President has complained about inadequate security protection and the recent attack on her vehicle marks an alarming threat to her person.

“The government of Liberia is requested to take immediate steps to remedy this precarious situation. The protection of the former vice president is a responsibility of the current government. It is very irresponsible for the government to turn a blind eye to this situation,” Mr. Kowo alleged.

Willful Massacres

He added: “The Unity party government has failed to prosecute the alleged murderers of peaceful citizens in Lofa, Nimba and Montserrado counties – we demand immediate prosecution of these alleged murderers who are roaming free while the victims’ families continue to live in agony.”

“Fraudulent” Equipment Deal

The party also categorically rejected the bogus police investigative report of the murder of unarmed protesters in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount County, reference the brutal killing of at least three peaceful citizens of Grand Cape Mount County.

Also speaking to the reported 285 yellow machines deal between the Unity Party government and a yet-to-be-known businessman, the CDC said its attention is drawn to the situation.

Chairman Kowo told journalists that it has also come to the attention of the CDC that the government of Liberia has fraudulently procured 285 yellow machines, something he described as apparent asset swapping involving some natural resources of the country.

“If this information is correct, it marks a dangerous bravado of the government in trying to mortgage the natural resources of the country,” Kowo further said.

“We demand full accountability and transparency in this matter and the CDC is activating the necessary mechanisms to ensure the protection of the natural resources of the country.”

He said while the CDC welcomes initiatives geared towards to the development of the country, “such must be within the confine of the law and the national interest”.

Karpeh Kidnap

Speaking further, Mr. Kowo condemned in the strongest term the kidnapping at the airport of Liberian blogger, Nippay Teddy Karpeh, (aka Raso).

He said Mr. was held without charge beyond the statutory periods, while the government was fetching complainants against Mr. Karpeh.

Rice Price Increment

The CDC also commented on the controversy surrounding attempts by government to rise the price of the national staple, rice, describe the move as a selfish attempt of the government to increase the price of Liberia’s staple food – rice.

“Increasing the price of rice at this time will increase the sufferings of the Liberian people,” the CDC asserted. “We call on the government to continue the rice subsidy program of the CDC government to alleviate the sufferings of the Liberian people.”

Civil Servants “Harassment”

At the press conference, the CDC also called attention to what it termed as continued harassment of ordinary civil servants by wrongful dismissals, unwarranted transfers and intimidation.

These acts of the government have the propensity of create serious discord in the civil service and undermine the peace and tranquility of the country, the CDC stressed, adding: “We have also been informed that police officers recruited during the CDC regime are being targeted, harassed, suspended and dismissed for political reasons. This is very wrong and unacceptable.”

The party said the government is also seriously politicizing the security services of the state, including the mass dismissal of EPS agents and now the police administration which is following suit.

War and Economic Crimes Court

The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) says it welcomes the signing of Executive Order 131 creating the office for War and Economic Crimes in Liberia to address abuses and violations of Human Rights committed during Liberia’s 14 years of Civil War.

“We also thank the House of Representatives and the Senate for passing a resolution for the establishment of a court with the jurisdiction of prosecuting War and Economic Crimes,” said the CDC, expressing the hope that “we can finally bring closure to the 14 years of civil crisis in Liberia.”

The CDC however noted that it strongly believes that even in the wake of key steps taken for the establishment of the court, the implementation of the Palava hut forums, as recommended by the TRC, is equally paramount to attaining genuine and lasting peace, reconciliation and unity in Liberia.

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