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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid