Liberia: President Weah Calls for Maturity Within Party and Government; Warns Underperforming Officials

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MONROVIA – President George Weah says it’s high time members and supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change come of age and demonstrate the maturity that will propel good governance and foster development.

“Fellow partisans, as your standard-bearer and political leader, let me advice you today, that in order to justify the mandate of hope it is now time for us to transition from being not only the winning party, but to also recognize and conduct ourselves like the ruling party,” said President Weah on Saturday during a retreat organized by the CDC to bring all of its partisans back together.

The President recognized that some officials in his government are dismally performing and do not meet the expectations of the people or the pro-poor agenda. He warned that such officials, if they do not improve on their deliverables, would be booted out of government.

“There are many CDCians who have been given the opportunity to serve the Liberian people in this administration and have developed the attitude of entitlement and who are under-performing, they are slack with their jobs and give the party a bad reputation. These people need to step up their game and be more diligent at their assignment or they will be replaced,” President Weah stressed.

According to President Weah, he now envisages a ruling party that would focus its energy on infrastructural development and revamping the economy.

The President’s realization of these issues obviously came out of the realization of the dissatisfaction of citizens evidenced by the party’s massive defeat in the last senatorial by-election in Montserrado County.

Montserrado has been the stronghold of the CDC and has maintained both senatorial seats since 2005 until recently when Liberty Party’s Darius Dillon won overwhelmingly and surprisingly swept communities known to be the ardent stronghold of the CDC.

The senatorial defeat in Montserrado County and the struggle to win District 15 in the same by-election forced the CDC not to participate in the senatorial by-election in Grand Cape Mount County that same year.

The decision not to participate in the Grand Cape Mount senatorial election, according to the party’s leadership, was intended to recalibrate and re-organize.

“As the party vigorously pursues its path to recovery, we shall remain focused on a cohesive rebuilding strategy, to include efforts aimed at strengthening the unity of the Coalition and accompanied alliances, and adopt programs and policies that target the economic and academic empowerment of young cadres and members of the tripartite Coalition for Democratic Change,” Morlu said at the time.

“There are many CDCians who have been given the opportunity to serve the Liberian people in this administration and have developed the attitude of entitlement and who are under-performing, they are slack with their jobs and give the party a bad reputation. These people need to step up their game and be more diligent at their assignment or they will be replaced.”

– President George Manneh Weah

This was the rationale behind Saturday’s retreat – renewing the spirit of the party and testing its numerical strength, sorting out differences within the party and reconsolidating forces.

Prior to Saturday’s rally, the party after various community engagements last week installed over 20,000 zonal heads from the 17 districts of Montserrado County.

The zonal heads were recruited to steer the affairs of the party in smaller clusters so as to be able to reach every community member for the purpose of recapturing Montserrado County.

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica, the party’s chairman, Mulbah Morlu said a vigorous reconciliation effort has been taking place within the coalition, especially among coalition members, overseas chapters, community engagement with partisans, etc.

He said two weeks ahead of the retreat, different forums were held internally to unite the party, the last of them held yesterday and today, setting the stage for ATS event.

“What you saw today is an absolute reaffirmation of support to his excellency by CDCians of the tripartite Coalition. Even the CDC has never been able to pull this success outside campaign periods. Even during campaigns, the show of strength today remains unmatched, especially by a governing party.

Though the turnout at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) was massive, filling the stadium its 20,000 maximum capacity, some observers still believe that the ruling party must work harder to reclaim Montserrado County – the most populated county in Liberia – from the opposition block.

James Davis, a private citizen who has been following the developments commented, “Right now it is mostly the partisans of CDC as participants showing off their political strength, and perhaps with few on lookers, but not the voting population or people from Montserrado County. With Monrovia alone holding about 2 million of that country’s 4.5 million people. 20,000 partisans is not enough to represent the people, unless such crowds can be represented at other locations to capture Montserrado County. But that’s a good crowd for CDC as a startup to campaign time.”

Alex Cooper, another private citizen also cautioned, “Be mindful, this is a reflection of CDC crowd from all over the country, bused to converge in one location. ADD, regardless what they call him, has challenged the limits of integrity and transparency expected in public offices. His support in Montserrado transcends partisanship. He began an audacious movement that Liberians are ready to follow.”

Franfran Georgee commented, “Just forget it. Unlike you, Sen Dillion has given the people of Monsterrado concrete reasons to vote him in for a second time. #refocusyourenergy

However, Morris Saryon believes the massive turnout was a statement. He commented, “The mammoth turnout of the masses of our people clearly sends a message to the opposition block including the vacation Senator.”

Alfred White: “This is an earthquake, Tsunami, and political storm CDC caused at CDC’s retreat. I am perplexed, confounded, astounded, flabbergasted and dumbfounded to see that kind of multitude today.”

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