Liberia Votes 2017: Who’s Best For Liberia – Weah or Boakai?


Monrovia – On December 26, right after Christmas, Liberians would go back to the polls to put the destiny and future of Liberia in the hands of one man – it might be the soccer legend and Senator for Montserrado County, George Weah or the current Vice President with over 40 years of experience in government, Joseph Boakai.

Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]

Senator Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) came first in the October 10 elections with 38.4% of the votes cast while Vice President Boakai of the ruling Unity Party obtained 28.8% in a race contested by 20 candidates. 

The pair’s inability to obtain the constitutional requirement of 50% plus one vote triggered the runoff election which will take place next Tuesday. 

FrontPageAfrica dissects their platforms. 

The CDC’s platform is built on four pillars – Power to people; economy and jobs; sustaining the peace and governance and transparency. 

Weah guarantees “a change that will move Liberia forward from a low to a middle income country, where the affordability of basic goods and services will no longer be a luxury to the privileged, but rather a right to all Liberians; the practice of corruption, injustice, resources mismanagement and low performance will have no place in our society. Our resources will develop people, infrastructure and institution.” 

A new UP Government led by Boakai promises to focus on five pillars ranging from economic and social infrastructure development; agriculture, food security and sustainable development; microeconomic stability and socioeconomic development; human and social development to governance, security, rule of law and peace and reconciliation. 

As part of his vision,  “The JNB led-government will prioritize roads because road infrastructure is a major foundation for our social and economic growth and development.

Roads support agriculture, linking farms to markets; roads to facilitate health care delivery; roads to promote access to education. According to the UP, roads are imperative for ensuring national security and regional integration.

The emphasis of the government’s plan over the next 6 years will include extension of road coverage, improvement in the quality of existing road infrastructure, institutional reform, diversification of transportation and linking roads to development programs.” 


Weah’s leadership would, according to his platform, would build the economy through sustained economic growth and infrastructural development. 

As part of it sustained economic growth strategy, the CDC says it would move the country from exporting mainly rubber and iron ore to a more diversified export-based economy and develop more cash crops. This government also promises to “increase extractive natural resources. 

The Weah-led government says it would undertake financial sector reform and deepen the financial market and regulation enhancement. 


The Unity Party says it would salvage Liberia’s economy through prudent fiscal management. According to their platform, a “Joseph Boakai-led Unity Party will endeavor to adopt measures to ensure that fiscal policy will be largely driven towards influencing economic growth.

Our fiscal measures will be paralleled to our monetary policy and be aimed at encouraging investment, boosting employment, providing targeted fiscal stimuli, and improving public services that will improve the standard of living of all our people.” 


To enhance Liberia’s weak education system, the CDC-led government would review and reform the current school curriculum to meet the 21st century development and labor needs. It promises to put emphasis on the sciences, engineering and mathematics competence. 

According to the party’s platform, its government would consider paying the West Africa Exams fees for all students. 


To address the challenges facing our education system, the Unity Party-led Government commits itself to building a quality basic, secondary and tertiary education system that is linked to a new national mind frame. 

This, according to the party, would be done through amending the education reform act to revert to the pre-war academic calendar; developing reading culture with emphasis on Liberian literature, holistic school supervision process, development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs, launching merit-based scholarship scheme, amongst others. 


The Weah-led government looks forward to speedy passage and full implementation of the Land Reform Act and strengthening the Land Reform Commission to carry out its work. 

The government would also provide technical, financial and mechanical support to farmers to develop low agriculture swampland across the country. This, according to the platform, would increase the production of agriculture produces. 


According to the UP, addressing these constraints and the issue of food security, and eventually food sovereignty, will be our priority. Our agenda will promote productivity in the sector, food security for Liberians, training and employment and integrate agriculture and livestock in a market-oriented economy and generate income generation for all producers, especially rural farmers. 

As part of its plans for the agriculture sector, the UP says it would ensure a “Comparative Advantage” which would target specific crop for specific regions; ensure and create avenues for Liberians to see and run agriculture as a business; encourage specialization in the agriculture sector and catalyze diversification. 


Infrastructural development for the CDC means building the economy and creating jobs. This, according to them, would be done through formulating policies and measure to ensure affordable and accessible electricity for all Liberians.

The government, under Weah, will also prioritize allocating resources to ensure the construction and rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads in agriculture-rich counties and directly connecting them to Monrovia. 


The JNB led-government, according to the UP’s platform, will prioritize roads “because road infrastructure is a major foundation for our social and economic growth and development. Roads support agriculture, linking farms to markets; roads facilitate health care delivery; roads promote access to education; roads are imperative for ensuring national security and regional integration.

The emphasis of the government’s plan over the next 6 years will include extension of road coverage, improvement in the quality of existing road infrastructure, institutional reform, diversification of transportation and linking roads to development programs.” 


The CDC says its government would pursue without fear or favor legal action in bid rigging, price fixing and unethical practices in exchange for patronage. It would also review the current code of conduct and implement the declaration of assets.  


Corruption in government, to the UP, is one of the many problems that continue to undermine public trust, slowdown sustainable development and impair our quality of life. According to the UP, it would combat corruption through Hold all government officials and public servants accountable. 

It would establish a fast track special court to deal with all corruption-related cases in the country.

Those judicially found guilty will not only serve prison terms where applicable or so determined by the court, but will have those assets obtained through fraudulent activity confiscated by the state. Depending on the gravity of the corruption-related crime, such persons will also be barred from holding any public positions for the duration of the government. 

It would also strengthen and adequately resource existing anti-graft agencies, such as the General Auditing Commission (GAC), the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), and the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC).

Recruit persons of impeccable character and credentials to man these institutions.

Capacitate the LACC to set up a dynamic mechanism for periodic declaration of assets of relevant government officials; establish a comprehensive scheme for monitoring internal and external financial flows. 

Embark on a sustained awareness and education campaign on the effects of corruption. 

Improve salaries and conditions of service for lower level public officials (including teachers, nurses, and security forces) as an incentive to minimize their vulnerability to corruption. 

Ensure those found guilty of stealing public resources restitute the stolen amount, and or use the law to confiscate properties acquired at home or abroad. 

Impose additional sanctions, including sending to prison and or rendering unfit for public service, those found guilty of corruption. 


To ensure the security of state is well guarded, the CDC government would endeavor to make the Armed Forces of Liberia attractive for more youth to enroll in the army and participate in international peacekeeping missions. 

It will also continue to improve the professional and operational development of the AFL, focusing on better equipment, strategic recruitment of new soldiers and prioritizing skill training. 


The Unity Party says it would build on the gains achieved in democratic governance, security reform, and rule of law, peace consolidation and national reconciliation.

This would be done through complete security sector reforms; Increased police presence in all parts of the country; avoiding an elitist approach to governance; actively promote popular participation in the governance system, amongst others. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This comparative analysis was written based on the political platforms provided by the coalition for democratic change and the unity party. The extents to which details are given are based on the details provided in the platforms