PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – Liberia’s former Vice President and Standard Bearer of the Unity Party (UP), Joseph Nyumah Boakai, says if elected president in 2023, one of his administration’s foremost priorities would be to audit the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government of President George Manneh Weah. Liberia’s next general and presidential elections are slated for 2023.
The former Vice President says his administration will audit and prosecute to the fullest anyone in the CDC government found guilty of malfeasance. He vowed that the audit would begin within the first 100 days of his administration; and it will help the incoming government in knowing where Liberia stands economically as a country. He maintained, “The UP, as a political party believes that some sources of government’s revenues in the CDC administration remain unknown”.
Former Vice President Boakai, who is also, Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) said Liberia is a wealthy nation with vast natural resources, but the country remains impoverished and underdeveloped due to unbridled public sector corruption and the culture of impunity. He noted, “Unpunished acts of corruption are draining our economy. Our resources are being stolen; and we must act now in reversing the current situation”.
He furthered, “Corruption will have no place in my government. My administration will have zero tolerance for the corrupt”. He spoke recently when he addressed scores of US based Liberians at a UP organized townhall meeting held at the Victory Harvest Church in Southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Boakai is currently in the US with an entourage of UP supporters. He arrived in the country over two weeks ago. He is in the US to mobilize political support for his 2023 presidential bid; and seek logistical support for Liberia’s ailing health and educational sectors.
The former Vice President told the gathering that he will be a candidate in the 2023 presidential election; and his party will adhere to the CPP’s electoral guidelines in ensuring that he becomes the group’s standard bearer. He confidently declared, “I am contesting the presidency because I am the most experienced of all of the candidates in the presidential race. Besides that, I have integrity; and I come with passion for my country”.
Mr. Boakai said today’s Liberia is faced with a leadership void; and he thinks he is the best person to fill the void. He maintained the country is bleeding because of ineffective leadership; and now is the time to act. He underscored,” This is not about me. It is about the good of our country; and we must act now in correcting the problem”.
The former Vice President has over 40 years of public servant work experience. Beginning 2005 to 2017, he served as Vice President to former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in the UP led government. In November 2017, he was one of the many presidential hopefuls that challenged Mr. Weah for the Liberian presidency. He came second to President Weah when they faced off in the second round of the presidential election but lost.
He accumulated more than 457 thousand votes thus representing more than 38 % of the total ballots cast while President Weah secured a little over 732 thousand votes representing more than 61%.
Mr. Boakai reported to his fellow countrymen that since 2018 when the CDC led government ascended to the political leadership of Liberia, the socio-economic life of Liberians has declined considerably due to what he called poor governance. He cited high unemployment, inflation in goods and services, filthy streets and public places, poor educational and health systems, unexplained mass murders of citizens, uncontrolled acts of corruption, and the lack of rule of law as some of the several challenges the country is plagued with.
He painfully accentuated, “That’s the situation of our country; I am talking reality. You can go and see for yourself what I am talking about”. He pleaded, “Fellow Liberians, we need to rescue our country, because Liberia is degenerating daily”.
Rule of Law
The CPP Chairman said if Liberians give him the privilege in 2023 to lead Liberia as president, the country under his leadership will experience the rule of rule. He said, “We will enhance our national security by ensuring that everyone including public officials are compliant with the rule of law as opposed to what we are now witnessing in the CDC led government”. He said his administration will strive to dignify the work of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and all security agencies in Liberia through the provision of logistical support and training opportunities.
He continued, “The criminal justice system in a Boakai led administration will be independent and tough on criminals. We will hold people accountable”. He observed, “The role of government is to create enabling environment for its people, but in today’s Liberia, that is not the case. The Executive branch of government controls everything. The other two branches of government, the judiciary and legislative, are literally nonexistent”. He furthered, “This is not about giving bad news about our country, but that’s the reality”.
Mr. Boakai said he is committed to advancing the cause of the Liberian youth. He promised that a Boakai led government would commit public resources to the development of the young people in Liberia. He said his government will create opportunities for career advancement in the areas of construction, tourism, and agriculture for the youth of the country. He promised, “We will train and hire them in these sectors and other sectors of our society”.
Mr. Boakai told the gathering that as Chairman of the CPP, he is committed to the resolution of the current internal rift in the coalition. He called on leaders of the CPP including the Standard Bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) to put aside their political differences and recommit to the foremost objective of the union. He said, “Our primary objective is to make Mr. Weah a one term president; and unless we work together, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish that”.
The former Vice President said upon his return to Liberia, he will begin holding consultative meetings with leaders of the CPP with the foremost purpose of restoring peace and stability in the collaboration. The CPP is dedicated to clinching the Liberian presidency in 2023. Its membership comprises the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Unity Party (UP), Liberty Party (LP), and the All-Liberian Party (ALP). It was established in 2020. In the December 8, 2020, mid-term legislative elections in Liberia, the CPP outperformed the CDC. The collaboration won majority of the legislative seats.
However, in recent months, the CPP has been in the news for unbridled internal rift because of disagreement over alleged changes made in its framework document during the tenure of Mr. Alexander Cummings when he served as chairman. It is alleged that the changes were made with Mr. Cummings acquiescence, but he has since denied the claim. The imbroglio in the CPP is fierce; and it seems to be defeating the purpose of the political union.