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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

WEAH’S FIVE-YEAR, LIBERIANS LOSE HOPE BECAUSE OF THE SEVERITY OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC BREAKDOWN – SAYS JOHN BALLOUT 

Date:

LIBERIA – Former Senator of Maryland County says for five years of the Weah-led administration, Liberians have seen institutions of government weakened and for five years Liberians have lost hope because of the severity of this socio-economic breakdown, which has paved the way for Liberians’ poverty.

Mr. John A. Ballout Jr. in a press statement issued recently noted that due to the socio-economic breakdown Liberians especially those in the opposition were compelled under the circumstances to unite so as to save Liberia from clueless and catastrophic national leadership.

The statement further narrated that due to the clueless and catastrophic national leadership, the Unity Party, Liberty Party, Alternative National Congress, and the All Liberian Party came together and formed the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP). Thus bringing the majority of Liberians together under a singular political umbrella.

He said: “Immediately, the reemergence of hope came alive in the masses and for a period the Liberian people were truly excited for a real change.

“This excitement and reassurance were not only as a result of the conglomeration of these political parties but more importantly drawn from the confidence that the political leaders of these institutions inspired.”

“The CPP, true to the aspirations, determination, and commitment of the Liberian people to change their country for the better, overwhelming won 8 of the 15 seats in the recently held midterm senatorial elections leaving the ruling CDC with only three seats.”

Below, is the full text of Ballout’s statement

Fellow Liberians, for five years we have seen Liberians get poorer, for five years we have seen our institutions of government weakened, and for five years we have seen Liberians lose hope. Because of the severity of this socio-economic breakdown, the Liberian people especially those in the opposition were compelled under the circumstances to unite so as to save Liberia from this clueless and catastrophic national leadership. As a result of this, the Unity Party, Liberty Party, Alternative National Congress, and the All Liberian Party came together and formed the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).

Thus bringing the majority of Liberians together under a singular political umbrella. Immediately, the reemergence of hope came alive in the masses and for a period the Liberian people were truly excited for a real change.

This excitement and reassurance was not only as a result of the conglomeration of these political parties but more importantly drawn from the confidence that the political leaders of these institutions inspired.

The CPP, true to the aspirations, determination and commitment of the Liberian people to change their country for the better, overwhelming won 8 of the 15 seats in the recently held midterm senatorial elections leaving the ruling CDC with only three seats. This landslide victory further confirmed the resolve of the Liberian people knowing that the political experiment of the CPP was not only effective but promising.

The masses of this country were now energized to further cement the political solidarity in pursuing the national cause of saving Liberia for this generation and the next.

Unfortunately, when the moment of truth arrived, where the leadership of the CPP had the perfect opportunity to demonstrate patriotism, loyalty to state, sacrifice for the masses, compromise for the sake of the next generation the people of Liberia saw the gigantic political structure of the CPP crumble and disintegrate from its foundation that was meant to provide support.

The power struggle within the CPP did not only cause its disintegration but equally fueled the flames of uncontrollable political bad blood. The people of Liberia sat confused, frustrated and in some cases irritated as they witnessed leaders within the CPP throw insults at each other, supporters

Within the CPP factions directed insults to leaders of the other parties, seeing the CPP go to court to the great satisfaction of the ruling party, etc etc. The political and propaganda machineries of the opposition factions diverted their attention from the excesses of the ruling party to members within the opposition block. Meanwhile, the neutrality, credibility and readiness of the National Election commission NEC to conduct and guarantee free and fair elections, the credibility of the results of the National census, the neutrality of the Supreme Court are among the alarming red flags that should be claiming the attention of the collective opposition.

We must be reminded that in this day and age of internet, every propagandistic attack on the political leaders of the opposition will be used as a weapon tomorrow in any election. Thus making it difficult to openly campaign for a candidate one had earlier demonized.

To the members of the opposition and in furtherance of the concept UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL, it is imperative that we take certain political calculations into consideration:

  1. If the opposition goes to 2023 elections divided, it will lose the entire legislature to the ruling party. If it goes to the elections united it will win the entire legislature thus paving the way for unhindered political, economic and structural reforms.
  2. If one of the members of the opposition reaches the runoff it will be a daunting task to reconcile differences caused by years of in-house fighting in a month’s time.
  3. To mobilize the supporters of factions of the opposition that have developed party fanaticism over the long period of in-house fighting will not be as automatic as one would think.
  4. Granted that the opposition manages to win the presidency, running the government with an over 80% hostile opposition legislature will render the government completely useless, not to mention the constant threats of impeachments and noncompliance.

My fellow Liberians, with all of the above mentioned, it is equally important to emphasize the risks of a divided opposition by referencing the recently held special senatorial election in Lofa County.  This was unbelievably shocking but it clearly demonstrated the principle UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL. What more evidence do we need?

The clock is ticking, elections are nearing, the people are anxious, and the atmosphere is tensed.

We the members of the opposition block will have to make a clear choice on what our objectives are and for whom are we fighting.

It remains a must that the opposition unites before election.

The choice before us is simple, THE OPPOSITION CAN EITHER UNITE AND WIN THE ELECTIONS FIRST ROUND OR DIVIDE AND LOSE.

For two years there have been calls for unity in the opposition block and it can be emphatically claimed that this has positively resonated with the masses of this country.  Though many have equally doubted the possibility of such unity because of the extent of the internal conflict the search for the way forward remained ever present.

Today I submit a possible way forward;

  1. Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai goes as Standard bearer of the united opposition.
  2. Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings Jr. goes as vice Standard bearer of the united opposition.
  3. Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence goes as President Pro Tempore of the senate
  4. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is signed that guarantees a significant inclusion of the ALP in the government.
  5. A MOU that guarantees Mr. Alexander B. Cummings as the next Standard bearer of the opposition block after Amb. Joseph Nyuma Boakai.
  6. A MOU is signed that guarantees that Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings Jr. will choose his vice Standard bearer from the Liberty Party.
  7. A MOU is signed that guarantees the incorporation of all the opposition parties in the governance of the state.
  8. A MOU is signed on how to address the speakership of the House of Representatives.
  9. All efforts must be made to reunite the Liberty Party.

It must be reminded, that in politics and political arrangements no one gets everything and in the mist of harsh political realities, there must be room for compromise for the sake of greater strength.

To the supporters of the different factions in the opposition block, I will state in no clearer terms that Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the Unity Party, Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings Jr., of the Alternative National Congress, Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence of the Liberty Party and Mr. Benoni Wilfred Urey of the All Liberia party are the BIG FOUR on whose shoulders rest the future of our country.

Enough is enough. Everyone in the opposition should consider adopting a new posture of collective respect, partnership, cooperation and collaboration owing to the fact that we are all in this together.  Let us use our proximity, experience, education and connection to the various political leaders to reignite the spirit of oneness.

To  Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings Jr., Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence and Mr. Benoni Wilfred Urey, I John Akel Ballout Jr. join hundreds of thousands of Liberians to appeal to you to look beyond yourselves , political differences, the insults, political injuries and see the children in kindergarten, the millions of young people without jobs, the over 100,000 drugs addicts, the elderly without social security, the 250,000 people who lost their lives in a senseless and brutal civil war and find the courage to forge a new beginning.

I thank you

John A. Ballout Jr.

Ambassador/Senator

Republic of Liberia

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