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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in public More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid