MONROVIA: Nearly all major political parties contesting the Liberian presidency are yelling on top of their voices, avowing first round victory in the ensuing election. Former ruling Unity Party, current ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and even the Collaborating Political Parties are in the lineup of parties betting their necks on the first-round victory proposition. Tomorrow, the defending political champions, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) will be coming out in the streets of Monrovia to, according to them, showcase proof of their one-round-victory boast. As The Analyst reports, there are indications that the nation’s capital and its environs will be submerged in human floods with proponents and organizers of the rally promising to unleash over a million partisans and supporters on the city tomorrow, September 7.
Noises heralding buildup to what some pundits described the largest political assembly yet in the history of Liberian politics are echoing across the country, as the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) prepares for the launch of its 2023 political campaign period.
Since 2005, whether it is CDC (Congress for Democratic Change) now or CDC (the Coalition for Democratic Change), the party is widely regarded the first serious populist political party in the country, not only injecting populist spirits in the politics of the country, but also triggering mass assemblies of citizens or attraction of huge gatherings of people as major element of political competition in the country.
The CDC has not only been wooing Liberians for political continuity so that it continues its landmark development policies and programs; it has also been asking its partisans, allies and like-minds to come out with all the venom they can muster against the opposition by voting decisively so that victory is pronounced in the first round of the elections slated for October 10, 2023.
Apparently for reasons of the first-round victory, President George Manneh Weah and his CDC have hardly spared a single hour of their campaign schedule since campaign began except for a brief pose to honor the memory of fallen partisans who died in a traffic accident recently.
But since the Electoral Management Body of the country, the National Elections Commission (NEC), blew the whistle for the commencement of Political Campaign Period, the CDC in less than a month has swept across the 17 densely populated districts of Montserrado County, which harbors nearly half of the voting population of Liberia, combed three of some of the hard-to-impenetrate counties of the country, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount counties, before rocking two other important provinces located in central and southern flanks of the country–Margibi and Grand Bassa counties.
As if what the party has done in just four weeks was not enough to further showcase adequate signs of its avowed first-round victory—all the endorsements, petitioning ceremonies, adorations and gifts acquired during its rather earth-pulling campaign rallies in Montserrado, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape, Margibi and Grand Bassa—the ruling establishment says it is remobilizing and re-energizing its bases in what its spokespersons are calling the biggest assembly of all times on Thursday, September 7.
While the nation’s Capital is currently jostling and bustling in all communities and neighborhoods, with partisans conducting vigils and watchnights, trumpeting deafening battle cries and slogans on foot and in open vans in communities and neighborhoods, the nearby counties, such as Margibi, Bassa and Bomi, are reportedly also warming up to join their political kith and kin in Monrovia.
The restlessness and edginess amongst partisans blow up to apex in the city at the National Headquarters, as well as in District Headquarters and the Campaign Hub of the CDC, where tens of thousands of partisans, supporters and sympathizers continue to troop back and forward almost tirelessly in their attempts to access information about the tomorrow assembly and to take possession of party paraphernalia and other supplies for the day.
Reports have it that anxious partisans have been sleeping rough at the various headquarters, and some are saying they will continue to do so until the event is had Thursday.
Some observers are of the opinion that that the various headquarters, whether at local and national levels, may not be able to cope with the demand for partisans and supporters in terms of supplies they need for the day.
“For the last one week, our auxiliaries have been going up and down to obtain their supplies of T-shirts, banners and other printed materials but all seems futile for some because it is not impossible to impenetrate the crowds who had been on the list before ours,” said Smith Boweh, an official of a CDC auxiliary in District 11.
He told The Analyst: “What we have therefore resorted to now is to show our ‘First Love’—the way we used to do it in 2005, 2011 and 2017. Instead of waiting for the party, why it is true it is now the ruling party, we are going ahead printing our own T-shirts and banners. And we have got enough to share with our auxiliary members and other Districts if they need some.”
Chairman Morlu: Not Leaving Things to Chance
Though the scrambles and momentum of the September 7 Rally buildup evidently echo all over the place, the 17 districts in Montserrado and districts in Margibi, Bassa and Bomit are blazing with ululations and preparations, the National Leadership is seemingly not leaving anything to chance.
With a caravan of top party officials, including Secretary General Jefferson Koijee, Chairman Morlu is carrying out further shaking up of things at all districts, going all out to see how much momentum there is at each point, what is lacking, and how the screws for a more tsunamic rise of partisans and supporters can be done.
In the last 48 hours, Chairman Morlu and entourage have touched down with nearly all 17 electoral constituencies—visits that consistently have attracted deafening receptions—with indications that the mobilization outreaches will hit beyond Montserrado before September 7.
The monitoring and mobilization visits by the National Chairman and his officials followed a huge assembly of partisans at the headquarters last weekend for briefings unpacking what was in stock in terms of planning and execution towards the Campaign Launch.
With 1,460 auxiliaries attending the weekend meeting, the party administrators provided what they term as “final marching mandate ahead of Liberia’s biggest Rally of Rallies scheduled for this Thursday at the ATS”.
According to Chairman Morlu, at the mass meeting, the WEAHTAYLOR ‘One Round Victory’ agenda was communicated as the CDC supreme STRATEGIC MANDATE, while locking down Monrovia on September 7.
Briefly speaking about the meeting, Mr. Morlu further asserted: “While declaring a CDC national holiday on September 7, which is based on the (probably) millions expected to converge, we also sent a message of peace & non-violence, asking our people to remain peaceful & to reject violent provocations at any time.”
He added: “But truly, the auxiliaries are set and ready for September 7. The house-to-house and street-to-street outreach continues. Let’s knock on every door! Print your banners! Continue to recruit, mobilize & organize, leaving no room for complacency until September 7 and until ‘One Round Victory’ is achieved.”
Show of Strength—and 1st Round Victory Proof
The ruling CDC says the assembling of partisans and supporters as well as nonpartisans but are supporters of individuals officials who may not necessarily be registered members of the party, such as “Weahians” or “Taylorians” who declared support of President Weah and Vice President Taylor respectively, is both to showcase its unbeatable numerical strength and to unveil evidence it will win the October elections on the first ballot.
In an apparent drive to follow recent examples in the West African Sub-region, as would be found in neighboring Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the Coalition for Democratic Change has been opting for a first-round victory, something that was first dismissed by rival parties as impossible or an attempt to rig but which later became their refrains also.
Now that the other serious contending parties are also vocally expressing a first ballot win, the ruling CDC says it is poised to flood the city of Monrovia and its environs with a million partisans, supporters and sympathizers of the party or supporters of individual bigwigs of the party on tomorrow.
According to the NEC report from its national registration exercise, over 900,000 voters of the total registrants of nearly 2.5 million are in Montserrado County, the most populated county. Margibi County and Grand Bassa counties that produced 185,301 and 158,463 registered voters respectively are also expected to participate in the CDC Campaign Launch Rally.
According to CDC officials, the Thursday rally is expected to attract thousands of Liberians from those two counties as well, as well as from Bomi which is also nearby.
“We will make over a one million citizens march for victory on Thursday, and we are going to create trepidations and anxieties in the opposition camps on that day,” says Mr. Robert Sunnay, Jr., an official of the National Ambassadors for the Reelection of President Weah.
“Monrovia and its environs will be pleasantly shut down Thursday not only to disprove those who think the popularity of Weah and his administration have waned down but also to show to all and sundry that the well-sung First Round Victory is inevitable and a cast in the stone,” he continued.