Liberia: Ruling CDC Blasts ANC for ‘Late’ Condemnation of Planned ‘Weah Step Down’ Mass Protest
Monrovia – The ruling Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) has hit back at the Alternative National Congress (ANC) for branding the Weah’s administration corrupt and incompetent.
The ANC, in a press conference on Sunday, October 27 said while it encourages the rights of citizens to peacefully protest and express their grievances to government for redress, it does not endorse and will not support the “Weah Step Down” Campaign.
The party termed the proposed protest calling for the removal of a constitutionally elected President as unconstitutional and undemocratic.
But further in the statement read by ANC’s Secretary-General, Aloysius Toe, the party stressed it is aware that the “current economic hardship, massive unemployment, open theft of public resources by government officials, abuse of state power and the destruction of Liberia’s economy by the incompetent Weah’s administration are necessary and sufficient reasons for peaceful mass protest.”
“We are also very concerned about the fast-declining state of our country, and agrees that Liberians have legitimate reasons to protest and demand reform in governance.”
While the ANC has received plaudits from a large segment of the public, the CDC has responded sharply to the opposition party’s comments.
In a bombastic statement issued by its Chairman Mulbah Morlu, Jr., the CDC said while the ANC’s snubbing of the ‘Weah Step Down campaign’ is welcoming, the move is belated and should not be seen as any ‘great’ step.
The CDC claimed the ANC, as a responsible party should be “rejecting treasonable actions that tend to destabilize the country.”
According to the CDC, the ANC was a major sponsor of the June 7 protest which aim was to destabilize and unseat the Weah-led government, and was only forced to speak up because the planned December 30 protest will have a dead end.
“The timing of the ANC press release speaks volumes to the fact that it was forced to issue such a release and that the release is not an outcome of any organic commitment to peace and national stability,” the CDC claimed.
“So this press release scores no point for the ANC because the party should not be in the business of joining meaningless protests and planning instability or insurrection in the state.”
Responding to the ANC branding the Weah’s administration as ‘corrupt and ‘incompetent, Morlu stated there was no evidence to show the government is corrupt.
The CDC government continues to be hit with a plethora of criticisms from the opposition and the public for what they term as President’s Weah’s rapid accumulation of wealth within the short period of his presidency.
The government is also being criticized over the failing economy, the alleged missing L$16 billion and the failure of the government to prosecute those responsible for the questionable US$25 million mop-up exercise.
“The timing of the ANC press release speaks volumes to the fact that it was forced to issue such a release and that the release is not an outcome of any organic commitment to peace and national stability.”– Mulbah Morlu, Chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change
But the ruling party said the government has done nothing wrong.
“When asked to adduce evidence, the ANC and others of their ilk point to ‘new buildings put up by the President to ‘16 billion missing,’ or to ‘25 million mop up.’ Although none of these instances involves any act of corruption done by officials appointed by President George Manneh Weah, the likes of ANC will continue to harp on these fictions to deceive the Liberia people and believe they are scoring political points.”
According to the CDC, their government inherited most of these economic problems, and despite these challenges, it is working diligently to turn to tide.
‘Doing More with Less Resources’
According to the CDC, the government is doing far more with less resources. Excerpt of the statement: “These propaganda concoctions are what the ANC refers to as corruption. How can the CDC government ever be corrupt when it is doing far more with less resources? It is a fact that the fiscal flow of Government has faced some shocks from external assistance and domestic revenue but we still see the CDC Government deliver wonderful projects.”
The Government, according to the CDC has “denied itself of more than US$26 million annually in “untouchable, non-discretionary budget commitments that cannot be manipulated-salary for some 2000 health workers and pay increase for medical doctors, free tuition for public college attendees, payment of WASSCE fees for high school students and budgeted coupon payments on the US$65 million bond issued to commercial banks.”
It claimed the Unity Party’s administration had US$26 million available annually to use discretionarily, something the CDC administration is still asking how these resources were used, since the Global Health Pool Fund was paying for doctors, since students were paying for their own exam fees and since the Government did not have to pay for public college education.”
Beyond these non-discretionary commitments, the party bragged the CDC administration has spent an additional US$20 million to build more than 40 kilometers of community roads, pay US$9 million of LEC debt owed by the previous administration and built a new military hospital for the army.
In addition, they claimed their government gave students of the University of Liberia the means of digital registration for the first time ever, provided US$1 million for pro-poor loan scheme housed at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment, among others.
The party further the government cannot be incompetent when it is reforming “our horrible wage system developed under the previous administration to use government resources to discretionarily pay workers with similar skills at different levels.