Liberia Elections: Weah Condemns Pre-Campaign Violence, Slams Attack on VP
Monrovia – Senator George Weah (CDC, Montserrado County) has condemned recent wave of pre-election violence in Liberia ahead presidential polls later this year.
Report by Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected]
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica Friday, Senator Weah said it is unfortunate that some rival political supporters are resorting to violence, something he said does not bode well for Liberia’s post-war peace and stability.
Pointing to the recent attacks in what is considered a Weah-stronghold of Claratown, on Vice President Joseph Boakai, the presidential candidate for the ruling Unity Party, Senator Weah urged supporters of his own party as well as other political parties to do away with violence.
Said Senator Weah: “I am seeing that a lot around here and it is not a good thing at all. In particular, I am concerned about the recent attacks on Vice President Boakai in Clara Town when rival supporters went up against him. I do not encourage and I do not support or think we should be engaging in such a way.”
“If you do not want to support a particular candidate then stay away but do not engage in violence.”
Over the last few days, VP Boakai’s endorsement rallies have been subjected to protests and heated exchanges.
Things went sour a day the vice president named the Speaker of the House of Representative Emmanuel Nuquay as his running mate. The VP and his entourage of supporters were greeted with a stiff resistance in Clara Town.
The Vice President was on his way back from an endorsement program held by the Friends of the Future, 3F when protesters began their assaults.
The protesters complained that their action was against the assembly of several supporters of the Vice President in outfits of Unity Party within their political terrain.
The protesters set blockades in front of the VP convoy denying him use of the route leading to the main street of Monrovia.
Two days later in Speaker Nuquay’s hometown in Kakata, Margibi County, similar heated exchanges ensued with supporters of several political parties said to be expressing anger and venting their frustrations against the Boakai-Nuquay ticket.
Senator Weah’s position draws distance from a Facebook posting by Mulbah Morlu, head of the party’s mobilization committee who accused the UP of trying to engage in damage-control efforts in a bid to change the narrative of what happened in Clara Town and laying the blame on the CDC.
Morlu wrote: “Irrespective, whether the protesters were a mixture of CDCians & UPists, or just disaffected ordinary citizens, is immaterial.”
“One fact stands out prominently; Joseph Boakai is turning out to be the most unpopular presidential candidate ever thrown into an elections cycle, as evidenced by the baggage & liabilities he drag along everywhere he goes.”
“The enormity of his tragedies are intractable, one of which has come to be the scarring ghost of police brutality now being summoned from the Robert Sirleaf campaign era.
Morlu accused police of manhandling peaceful protesters whose only crimes were to lift anti-Boakai placards.
“They were Brutalized & chased off as warning to those who still live under the illusion that Boakai will be any different.”
“Unfortunately, this is not the narrative the government would want to talk about. Instead, false screams accusing the CDC, continues on regime-inspired radio stations.”
On Friday however, Senator Weah sought to encourage his supporters as well as those from other political parties to shift away from personal attacks on the vice president or any other rival politician.
“We can agree to disagree, but we cannot resort to violence.”
“We should allow all candidate to be heard. I hope our people will listen and avoid violence. I do not support violence in any form. It is important that we avoid it at all cost,” Senator Weah averred.