Presidential Debate Will Help Voters Make Quality Decision in October


IF LIBERIANS MUST MAKE a good choice in voting the country’s next President, they must be well informed and have a fair understanding of the platform the candidates participating in the elections.

IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT we see the upcoming presidential debate as a very integral part of strengthening our democracy and the electoral process.

TO ENSURE THAT THESE debates are wide ranging and involve the presidential candidates the Deepening Democracy Coalition (DDC) will host its the Presidential Debate at the Paynesville City Hall on Thursday, August 17 at 1pm. The debate will involve six contenders.

THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES who have been invited to outline their governance proposals to the Liberian people include Mr. Benoni Urey, Standard Bearer of the All Liberian Party, Mr. Alexander Cummings, Standard Bearer of the Alternative National Congress, and Dr. J. Mills Jones, Standard Bearer of the Movement for Economic Empowerment. Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine, Standard Bearer of the Liberty Party, and Sen. George M. Weah, Standard Bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change will also be present.

DURING THE DEBATE EACH candidate will be asked to outline his plans for six key areas: the economy; security and rule of law; peace and reconciliation; anti-corruption policy; agriculture; and youth empowerment. The candidates will also be asked to explain how their plans will be rolled out and funded. The debate will be broadcast live on UNMIL Radio, LBS, Women Democracy Radio and several other radio stations.

THE EVENT WILL ALSO BE streamed live on Facebook, twitter and youtube Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Liberia Media Center (LMC), Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP), and Liberia Women Media Action Committee (LIWOMAC) make up the DDC. The DDC’s over-arching objective is to deepen democracy and foster informed citizens’ participation by promoting an issue focused elections.

SHAMEFULLY, IN PAST ELECTIONS many presidential candidates shied away from the contest of ideas which would have guided electorates in making sound decision at the polls.

YET, ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY for such contest of ideas has been extended to the candidates running for president. This debate organized by the DDC, OSIWA and other partners, including the PUL will unite our leaders who would ordinarily find it unacceptable to share the same space with sworn political opponents.

WE BELIEVE THEIR ACCEPTANCE to share this space will show the warmth of friendliness by political opponents to share common podium will signal a positive gesture of accommodation in our often confrontational politics.

ALSO HERE, BOTH VOTERS and non-voters, including children, get to treasure the culture of peaceful face-off by contenders for public office.

IN THIS SPACE, RIVALS SHARE one platform, engage in polite but vigorous debate and rebut each other’s ideas.

THIS MIDDLE WAY SPACE for contention between both contradictory and sometimes extreme viewpoints builds the moral excellence of tolerance.

THE DEBATE WILL ENABLE Liberians share the candidate’s solutions on our country’s economic burden, delivery of social services, youth unemployment, good governance, agriculture, health, education and infrastructural development.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING our leaders proving their worth for which they must be voted and providing sound and realistic solutions to the enormous problems the country is currently faced with.