Liberian Clergy Bemoans Politics of Personal Attacks – Wants Political Debates Centered on Substantive Issues
The political tempo is still apparently high and it appears the Liberian Church is concerned about the repercussions on national reconciliation and peace. In an interview with a local radio station the President of the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC) says the country could edge on disorder and chaos if nothing is done to tune down the political rhetoric and focus on substantive debates bordering on bread and butter issues. The Analyst reports.
The President of the Liberia Council of Churches has described the politics of personal attacks as a strong contributing factor to bitterness and hatred amongst Liberians. He said this has got the potential to undermine national cohesion and peace.
Speaking during an interview on Fabric Radio Monday at his church office in Brewerville, Bishop Kortu K. Brown said that the “politics of personal attacks has overshadowed the substantive debate on the many issues confronting the nation.”
“We need issues-based elections campaign in our country because that’s one of the ways we can address the serious political, economic and social issues facing the country,” the Pentecostal cleric said, adding that personal attacks and labelling one another as cockroaches, killers, thieves, etc. degrades the debate on how we can find answers collectively tackle national woes.
Bishop Brown called on political contestants to keep the debates civil and to reduce tension since the country is already plagued by so much personal hatred against one another that it makes it difficult for the citizens to sincerely come together to chart a truly national course.
“We must keep our campaigns free of personal attacks and focus on how we can heal our country and how we can collectively address the national challenges facing us,” he said. “We are not enemies in politics. Liberians must go away from the enemy mentality in our politics because it hurts the country.”
The LCC President said politicians must use campaigns to present alternative ideas on how citizens can improve their lives or what government can or cannot do at a particular time in the interest of the nation.
“When we focus on elections and debates on attacking one another, we make it difficult to run civil campaigns and many ordinary people will see politics as a no-go zone,” Bishop Brown further said. “Those who put out better ideas will convince the people and the people will follow.”
Bishop Brown called on the electorate to eschew the politics of personal attacks but to focus on the issues that matter to their welfare and their communities.
According to him, electioneering is a part of the efforts to strengthen Liberia’s democracy and that is why Liberia votes every three years in mid-term or presidential elections and also in by-elections to fill vacant legislative seats.
He said these elections processes should be used to help improve the democratization process because “democracy is a political way of life which we have embraced and we must consolidate it.”
The Apostolic Pentecostal Church Bishop reminded the Government and opposition political parties that issues-based election campaign could further help political dialogue characterized by sincerity and commitment to the cause of the people.