News / Africa

Liberia’s CDC Discusses Institutional Building and Reconciliation

CDC-USA Institutional Building Panel
CDC-USA Institutional Building Panel
James Butty
Liberia’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), considered the country’s main opposition political party, has lost the last two presidential elections. 

It has been criticized as lacking the support of many of the country’s professionals and intelligentsia.  CDC founder George Weah told VOA recently the party has begun strategizing for the 2014 senatorial election and the 2017 presidential election. 

Over the weekend, the CDC-USA branch held a consultative forum to mark the inauguration of its officers. 

The topic of the forum was Institutional-Building through Reconciliation.”  Arthur Watson, former president of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas, told the forum that Liberia needs institutions that are transparent, efficient, and void of nepotism and corruption.

“When we build institutions and ensure that everyone operates within the framework of those institutions, we prevent conflict in our country.  When our legal institutions are strong and not beholding to any one person, not even the president of the nation, each person will play by the same rules and be accountable and held to the same standards.  Our people will feel safer because they will have equal access to due process under the law,” Watson said.

Another speaker, Abraham Massaley, called for a strong and effective national legislature.  He criticized the legislature as weak and ineffective.

Massaley proposed that the best way to make legislators accountable is to elect senators every six years, instead of every nine years.

CDC Institutional Building Forum
CDC Institutional Building Forumi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

“The term of office for senators and representatives needs to be short enough to maintain an accountable link with the voters," he said. "Obviously, electing senators for nine years imposes very minimum responsibility on them to account to voters.  The more frequent our senators and representatives can face the voters, the more accountable they will be."

“Anyone who has read the recent FrontPage Africa article about increment in legislative salaries and benefits totaling more than $10,000 per month per legislator will agree with me that it is far too costly to maintain an unproductive senator in office for nine years than to hold elections to replace such a senator.  This is why I call on the CDC to lead the opposition to campaign vigorously for constitutional reform before, or during, the 2014 senatorial election,” Massaley said.

Samuel Tweah, former national chairman of CDC-USA, said institutional building is paramount to the CDC having lost two presidential elections.

He said the CDC should not just criticize the current government.  Instead, it must offer itself as the alternative.

“Any strategy in the CDC that focuses on [President] Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is not seeking re-election, is fundamentally unsound and flawed.  We need to show how we will be different from her,” he said.

Tweah said the CDC decided to launch its institutionalization campaign because the party realizes that no political party in Liberia can win an election if that party is overwhelmingly rejected by the country’s intelligentsia.

He said the CDC has also begun to address the concerns of some in the international community who have wondered whether the CDC, as the largest opposition party in Liberia, can govern.

“They have a stake; they’re spending a lot of money and so they want to understand the fundamental question: Can the CDC govern?  Can we trust the future of Liberia with the Congress for Democratic Change?  Can it marshall the capability to deliver outcomes that are sustainable economically and politically. That question, I would say, the CDC is beginning to address,” Tweah said.

There have been dissensions recently within the CDC resulting in the defection of some staunch members.

Massaley called on the CDC to first begin to reconcile itself, as it attempts to lead the way for national reconciliation. 

“There are no permanent enemies in politics.  In any large organization, such as the CDC, there will always be the struggle for competing ideas and interests.  But, in the end, the interest of the party must be the rallying point for party unity.  However, I am not implying that betrayal of the party interest be swept under the bus,” Massaley said.

Former member of Liberia’s disbanded Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Massa Washington, called for reconciliation through legal, economic and social justice. 

She called on the government to implement recommendations of various national commissions, including the TRC that called for accountability for gross human rights violations.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: henry wallace from: toronto
October 15, 2012 8:47 AM
CDC cannot be taken seriously by turning a blind eye to the diaspora in the north. CDC needs a strategy to align Liberians across North America. The CDC-USA trajectory has many shortcomings and may not be sustainable strategy for harnessing ideas and resources across North America.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More