‘Liberia Sinking Fast’: Opposition Liberty Party ‘Disappointed’ in President’s MCC Scorecard Response
Monrovia – The opposition Liberty Party says a multitude of international reports continue to confirm that the George Manneh Weah-led government has no clue, or simply does not care about those languishing at the bottom of the economic ladder in Liberia.
In a statement Sunday, the party’s political leader, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence described President Weah’s response to the dismal performance in the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Annual Scorecard as shameless. “Reacting to the 2019 Scorecard of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), in which Liberia failed to pass the minimally-required 10 out of 20 measures, our President was untroubled and shameless.”
The party took exception to President Weah’s statement that he was not disappointed after its poor showing among the MCC indicators.
President Weah, speaking Friday when he broke grounds for the US$18 million raw water pipeline at White Plains, funded by the MCC Compact money, said: “Am I disappointed? No! I’m not disappointed in the MCC but I have hope because I believe the MCC is a good thing for Liberia and it can help us. But we need a paradigm shift, so we can work together so, at least our passing grade can be of use to us.”
“As many Liberians are, the Liberty Party is disappointed by the inept, corrupt and incompetent performance of your administration, and the proven lack of progress of our country. The 2019 MCC Scorecard merely confirms what many Liberians are actually enduring under the CDC-led government, which is that every aspect of our national aspiration and international reputation are being carelessly eroded and seriously undermined.”Liberty Party
President Weah averred that while he is not disappointed with the below par performance of Liberia in the just-released Millennium Challenge Corporation Scorecard, out Friday, there is a strong need for a paradigm shift in the way the scores are given countries under the MCC. “We need a paradigm shift in the MCC,” said the President, who appealed to the United States government to work with Liberia to improve its score. “I did not go to university to stay in school for the rest of my life – that’s why I was doing homework and what have you. So, if we get homework to do and we have courses to take, please give us the extra study class and let teachers be there, so we can make an effort.”
Disappointed in Inept, Corrupt Performance
On Sunday, the opposition Liberty Party said the president’s statement was appalling. “As many Liberians are, the Liberty Party is disappointed by the inept, corrupt and incompetent performance of your administration, and the proven lack of progress of our country. The 2019 MCC Scorecard merely confirms what many Liberians are actually enduring under the CDC-led government, which is that every aspect of our national aspiration and international reputation are being carelessly eroded and seriously undermined.”
The party said in just two years of the Weah Presidency, even for Liberians who believed in Weah’s promise of “Change for Hope”, Liberia is still hoping for change. “The only change we see, and consistently confirmed by the international community, is one leading our people toward hopelessness in how quickly Liberia has descended, and how rapidly economic and political conditions have worsened.”
The Liberty Party says it takes President Weah seriously when he says he is not disappointed in the poor performance on the MCC scorecard. “Our Party understands that to be disappointed with failure one must necessarily understand what it means to succeed, as well as appreciate fully the expectations for the high office one occupies. As such, the Liberian President cannot be “disappointed” for having failed our country when he obviously has no expectation of the level of leadership that is required of the Office of President.”
The statement added: “Every responsible and caring leader would be disappointed by any report, local and international, which independently confirms his/her administrations’ failure to do the right thing for his/her suffering people. According to the MCC, the Weah-led administration has failed to invest in its people, rule justly, and ensure equality in economic freedom, a failure which threatens Liberia’s continued qualification of and participation in the MCC.”
Economic Freedom, Ruling Justly and Investing in People, the party said, are the elements that are measured by the MCC. However, coincidentally, according to the LP, “these are also the pillars of the so-called Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). Failing the MCC, as we have, is therefore a failure of leadership to do what is right for our people. It is also a demonstration of a lack of commitment to the promises of the PAPD.”
MCC Scores Not Isolated to One Country
“Liberia does not need a shift in the MCC measures to which all countries similar to Liberia are independently assessed. Our country needs a shift from two-years of excuses and blame-shifting to actually taking responsibility for the opportunity which Liberians afforded the CDC to lead our country.”Liberty Party
The Liberty Party says it is aware that the MCC does not measure impossible conditions imposed on countries. But said, they actually measure good governance conditions elected and responsible administrations should already be engaged in to improve the economic and political conditions of their countries, and the living standards of their people. Moreover, the opposition party continued: “The scores are not isolated to one country. Each score measures the performance of one country against similarly-situated countries, and as an incentive for doing the right things, the MCC affords successful countries development assistance to address otherwise binding constraints to its continued inclusive growth and development.”
The party says Liberia is in need the MCC Compact more than ever and expressed disappointment that not only that Liberia is failing; but that the President really does not care about the Liberian people. Even more importantly, that he is not disappointed in himself and the performance of his officials.
The LP also took President Weah to task over his assertions that the MCC needs a “paradigm shift”. Instead, suggesting that the President should look at his failings in the past two years. “Liberia does not need a shift in the MCC measures to which all countries similar to Liberia are independently assessed. Our country needs a shift from two-years of excuses and blame-shifting to actually taking responsibility for the opportunity which Liberians afforded the CDC to lead our country.”
Debunking Paradigm Shift
The party said the interests of Liberia will be best served by a shift from a focus on only building a political party to building Liberia. “Rather than incompetence which now overwhelms the performance of the Weah-led administration, the country craves a shift to competence and diligence. “In the end, what our failing country needs the most is a real “paradigm shift” from being just the Standard Bearer of the CDC which is evidently prone to a focus on partisanship, loyalty and enmity toward other Liberians, to being the President of the Republic of Liberia which focuses on inspiring all Liberians toward a better and brighter future irrespective of differences in political association, tribe, regional origin, gender and religion.”
The Liberty Party said there is no need for the MCC to change its Scorecard to make it easy for the Weah-led administration to pass its promised commitments to Liberians, nor is there a need to be entered into tutorship about delivering on the best interests of the people. “Liberians simply need the Weah-led administration to change from serving themselves to serving our people.”