Home Governance Continuity VS. Change! …As Boakai Faces Weah In Presidential Runoff Tomorrow; As Liberians Observe National Holiday

Continuity VS. Change! …As Boakai Faces Weah In Presidential Runoff Tomorrow; As Liberians Observe National Holiday

by newsmanager

MONROVIA: Former Vice President Joseph Boakai is widely referred to by his admirers as “Rescue Father” who intends to change the current governance situation in Liberia, while incumbent President George Manneh Weah and his supporters are urging well-meaning Liberians to “vote for continuity,” and sustainable development and progress as Liberian electorate are set to decide the fate of the country tomorrow, Tuesday, November 14, 2023 Presidential runoff involving both Weah and Boakai.

In the face of the heated runoff campaign activities that ended on 12, November, 2023 across the country and in line with the regulations of the National Elections Commissions (NEC), some keen observers expressed concern that both leaders have allowed their respective campaign activities to be characterized by what seems to be ‘deeply personal verbal attacks against each other in recent days.

The faceoff involving Weah and Boakai comes as all of the previous 20 Presidential Candidates in the October 10 Presidential and Legislative Elections failed to obtain the constitutionally required 50% plus one of the total valid votes cast to be declared winner on first ballot.

Campaign rallies have been ongoing across the country and new strategies from the electoral body are under consideration even as tons of endorsements for both sides remain in full swing.

Few persons are willing to predict with any certainty how the events of the last few weeks will affect what is expected to be a close election tomorrow, November 14.

But, CDCians are hopeful that the country’s performance on the 2024 Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecards will put into sharp relief the arguments they have been making for months that incumbent President Weah and his government have carried out more national development projects and programs that could accord him reelection.

Samuel D. Tweah, an influential Finance Minister in Weah’s government said the Liberian people see the country’s performance on the MCC’s scorecard as a consequence of “quality of leadership from this President.”

“For me, and all of us in the government, this is the day that has brought to an end all the naysaying,” Tweah said.

“This passing shows the commitment of the President of where the country is heading and the President is leading the country in the right direction,” the Finance Minister emphasized.

Supporters of opposition leader, Joseph Boakai’s Unity Party (UP), the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC’s) main political rival by contrast, are hopeful that Boakai’s integrity role in response to corruption in public office as statesman will insulate him against the CDC’s critiques about his leadership ability.

“We have had a footballer president, and the country is in deep trouble economically, the youths are on illicit drugs,” said former vice president Joseph Boakai.

“Everything here that we did as President and Vice President with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf are broken down, the rule of law, criminality; and so, we are a country that is very well blessed resource-wise, but we see that the country is not moving, the country is besieged and we are here to rescue it,” Boakai declared at one of his previous campaign rallies.

Neither side has pulled its punches in near-daily diatribes.

Former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai who hails from the Northern region is running on the slogan: “Rescue Liberia” after more than four decades as a public servant in Liberian politics.

He has the support of Nimba County’s charismatic Senator and former warlord, Prince Y. Johnson, now a Nigerian trained evangelist.

Incumbent President George Weah who hails from the Southeastern region is campaigning on the Slogan: ‘Continuity’ to further improve the country in terms of education, construction of road network, healthcare, among others.

It is estimated that more than 85% of Liberians are illiterate. Many more can only barely read and write. So, for them education should be a priority for Liberia’s next president.

Incumbent Weah who was an opposition politician in 2017 won the former Vice President, Joseph Boakai.
Weah is hoping to rewrite history in some ways, insisting he is focused on developing the country for the next six years if given a second chance by Liberia’s registered voters tomorrow.

He is also working to ride on the many endorsements by defeated political party leaders and the foot soldiers, including members of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) of Alexander Benedict Cummings that took 7th place in the 10, October, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections.

Weah’s supporters have been cheered by the strength of the Coalition put in Lofa County, the stronghold of the opposition Unity Party closing the voting gap by 20% as compared to 2017.

Others say they believe the country will rally behind the president on November 14.

Likewise, Boakai won the runoff endorsement with the likes of political heavy weights: Dr. Henry Boima Fahnbulleh Jr., former Minister of Education and former National Security Advisor to ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Cllr. Kabina Ja ‘neh, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Lusine Kamara, political leader of All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP), who is also former Minister of Finance and former Minister of Commerce amongt others.

“The President will win this election on his record,” Kanio Bai Gbala, the Weah campaign spokesman said recently on a local radio show.

Boakai himself has been pushing a different storyline about Weah’s performance.

“The Life of our people is the responsibility of a responsible government,” Boakai told reporters.

“We come together today to coalesce (combine) our efforts, bind our energies, and get all hands-on deck to salvage and restore what the past devastating six years of misrule have left our dear nation,” he emphasized.

Pundits say both Weah and Boakai’s vast army of high-profile endorsers, many of them former presidential candidates will likely be featured in the outcome of the Presidential runoff election tomorrow.

Meanwhile, President George Weah has declared Tuesday, November 14, as Presidential Run-Off Election Day to be observed throughout the country as a National Holiday.

The proclamation is in compliance with the October 24th official pronouncement by the National Elections Commission, declaring November 14 as Presidential Run-Off Election Day.

A Foreign Ministry release quotes the Proclamation as ordering Liberian Government offices, business houses, and marketplaces closed on that day from six o’clock in the morning to six o’clock in the evening.

The Proclamation stated that the Government remains mindful of the importance of the democratic process, which provides opportunities for Liberians to express their political franchise by electing their national leaders.

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