Electoral Impasse Leading to Scarcity As Economy Suffers Blow
Monrovia – The current political deadlock has not only left Liberians in suspense over whether or not there will a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when her tenure officially expires in January, as it is also hard hitting the country’s economy.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh – [email protected]
While some Liberians are hailing Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party and his cohorts for challenging the veracity of the October 10 elections, many believe that his call for the rerun of the October 10, 2017 polls is harmful to the forward march of the nation as it is already adversely affecting economy.
Last week, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf expressed concerns over the political and economic affairs in the country.
She said, “Democracy is only as strong as its weakest link and at these moments, our democracy is under assault. Our country’s reputation is under assault, our economy is under stress.”
FrontPageAfrica has been inquiring from business owners what kind of hurdles the political situation is causing their business.
George Wungbo, CEO, Better Chance Stationery Store, RedLight
“Right now as you can see the spaces on the shelves, there are so many goods that we are lack of because of the same electoral issues.
Sometimes people come to buy, but the good cannot be available. We sent for goods and up to this time we can’t get the goods. So these are some of the problems we facing.
To me, I just look at Liberia to be a failure because looking at the kind of situation we are faced now; we should put Liberia first, and not be so much power greed.
For the sake of our small country, we should come together and develop our own area instead of fighting over this one Presidency.”
Morris Dennis, Money Exchanger
“Everybody welcomes the court process with Liberty Party. But really, we the small business people, the process is really hampering our businesses because everybody is afraid and holding fast to their physical cash.
The way we used to do business is not like that; business is not flowing. But we all welcome the court process. So we are all hoping that NEC could speed up with this whole process. I am a Liberian and I don’t want any form of violence. But we are following the issue.
As long as I can sit here and nobody is pointing gun at me, I can express my views, do my transactions without anybody troubling me is fine.
But the only problem is the process is slow. I would like for the Government to talk with the various opposition party to see reasons and work together for the betterment of Liberia.”
Abraham S. Dominic, Money Exchanger
“It’s a democratic process that we need to go through; however since the beginning of this entire electoral process, we have been experiencing some setbacks in our businesses. As people going out and coming in, that’s how we get customers.
That’s how people come and transact with us. We find out that people are not moving from country to country.
The fear is that some of them try to keep their money until after the elections. Since the elections came to a standstill, we are experiencing difficulties.
I am calling on our politicians, those who understand their political game so that they can listen to the call of the Religious and Traditional Councils and the International Community to sit down and settle the dispute because two wrongs cannot make a right.
If they continue to chase the right, and sometimes when the right turns to the wrong side, we who are the suffering masses that are hustling on the field will suffer the most.
Menwoe R. Cooper, Money Exchanger
“The process is affecting me a lot. I can no longer pay my children school fees. The process is very slow. I am asking them to put God first and let the whole thing be done and let our business get to normal again.
I am sensing fear and I feel threatened because of the delay. Throughout the war I was here, I didn’t go anywhere. Now I have four children; and I want the best for my children.
I will not blame a particular party, not National Elections Commission or Liberty Party. Let bygone be bygone and let there be a peaceful election so that we can get back to our normal businesses.”
Winifred Sando, small Business Owner
“This whole situation is making things hard for us. At this time of this year in November, we get more customers, business can go, but because of this election, we can’t get any customer.
We spent the whole day here and only two or three persons will come buy less than 300 (Liberian Dollars) goods. For example since today I came to this market, only three persons have bought from me.
Because of what is going on, everybody is scared to use their money. We are just appealing to them to settle it. The poor people are many and majority of them are in the market. The government alone cannot provide job for everybody.
So we are appealing to the government to handle this thing for election to go on and for our customers to come. Without customers we can’t carry money home. We have families to take care of.”
Korpo Kollie, Small Business Owner
“The elections situation is causing people to not buy from us. People are not bringing goods.
Everyone is afraid. When we go to the store we can’t find goods to buy and sell. Some of us that only this business we are making to pay our children school fees.
Now, I can’t blame anybody; but the only thing is I am begging the people to settle the thing that happened for the sake of our children’s education.
I have two children whose father passed away. So I have to come sell before I pay their school fees and provide food and other things for them.
Even though there is no war country, but what is going on now is more than war because everybody is afraid to bring goods; everybody is holding their money tightly.”
Franklin Pewee, Money Exchanger
“I want to say that Charles is exercising his constitutional right.
But for where the country is going now, for the sake of Liberia, let him forget about whatsoever that has happened and let the election go on. This is because nowadays everything is going backward.
Our brothers and sisters are not going out to do business. And when they are going out we expect them to buy the United Sates Dollars from us. So we are experiencing that Liberia is going backward.”
Simeon Blouway, Money Exchanger
“I am feeling disenchanted because Cllr. Charles Brumskine doesn’t mean well for the Liberian people. He is playing a delay tactic.
He is wasting the Liberian people time. For example, we used to change US$300 to US$400’ but this time no buyer.
The US rate is now 127 dollars. So my appeal to Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, our President, is that she should not allow few handfuls of people to make the majority of the Liberian people suffer.
She has played her role well by not supporting a particular party. I am appealing to Charles Walker Brumskine that Liberia is the only country we have.
As young people, we don’t have anywhere to go when something happens.
They have their money, their children are well off, they are educated; but some of us dropped of school and are depending on our small businesses to survive.
So, we don’t want anyone to create an unfavorable condition for us to suffer.”
Nancy Tobey, Small Business Owner
“They are not buying. And we are not in peace.
Our hearts are not satisfied; we are worried. People are not buying because they are afraid. I am appealing to all sides to but their differences aside for peaceful election to go on in this country so we can be in peace for people to start buying from us.”
Estella G. Larmoth
“This whole process is affecting my business in the sense that we can’t get any profit. The more they drag the electoral process, the more people are scared to buy from us.
Some of them said they are keeping their money. We are being affected.
That’s why I am begging all those involved to speed up with the elections process so that everything can be over and we, the business people will be able to benefit.”
Peter Tokpah, Money Exchanger
Brumskine is saying that he was cheated in the elections. He took his issues to court. But we are asking him to just forget about everything and let the election go on.
This country belongs to us as Liberians.