A Liberian prelate has chided the act of mudslinging that has emerged in the wake of political rallies by politicians and their followers, describing the politics of personal attacks as a strong contributing factor to the hatred prevailing amongst Liberians, which is undermining the cohesion of the country. The Apostolic Pentecostal Church Bishop Kortu K. Brown said the “politics of personal attacks submerges the debate on the many issues confronting the nation” and makes it difficult for our leaders to lead once elected because the issues of governance are presented and debated during election campaigns.
Speaking to local journalists in an interview yesterday at his church office in Brewerville, Bishop Brown intimated, “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 problems facing the country”.
Personal attacks and titling one another as “cockroaches, killers, thieves, etc.” degrades the debate on how we can find answers collectively to the national woes.
Instead. The Liberian prelate said Liberians must learn to keep debates civil. “We must keep the debates civil”, he admonished, saying that Liberia is being plagued by so much personal hatred against one another that makes it difficult for the citizens to sincerely come together to chart a truly national course.
He reiterated further, “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. We are not enemies in politics. Liberians must go away from the enemy mentality in our politics because it hurts the country.”
Hear Bishop Brown: When we campaign severally, we are presenting alternatives ideas on how we can improve the lives of our people and develop our country. But when we focus on elections and debates on purely attacking one another, we make it difficult to run civil campaigns and see politics for what it is: the man of group with the better ideas to convince the people to lead them.
Commenting on the issue of Voting Constituency, Bishop Brown called on the voting constituencies to eschew the politics of personal attacks, however tempting it may be, and focus on the issues that will address their communities’ challenges.
The founder of the New Water in the Desert Assembly also underscored the need to strengthen the fledgling democracy of Liberia. He pointed out that electioneering is a part of the efforts to strength our democracy.
“Liberia votes every three years in mid-term or Presidential elections and also in by-elections to fill vacant legislative seats. These elections processes should be used to help strengthen our democratization because democracy is a political way of life which we have embraced and we must consolidate it”
The Apostolic Pentecostal Bishop calls for dialogue in resolving the problems of the country. Bishop Brown further reminded the Government and the Opposition political parties that an issue-based election campaign can help further the need for civil political dialogue that will be characterized by sincerity and commitment to the cause of the people. “Personal attacks exacerbate the divisions and hatred amongst us and make it difficult to pursue a political and economic dialogue in the country,” he maintained.
The Bishop, who is also President of the Interreligious Council of Liberia, then called for debate Call and appealed to organizers of the political debates in the country to arrange the process for the Senatorial and Representative candidates in the Montserrado County By-election, so that the electorates can hear from the Candidates the issues they want to address and how they will address them if they got elected.