In October of this year fifteen seats in the honorable Liberian Senate will be up for grasp as a result of the expiration of the nine-year term prescribed by the Liberian Constitution. Article 45 of the Liberian constitution provides that “the senate shall be composed of senators elected for a term of nine years by registered voters in each of the counties”. The category of senators whose term has expired includes those elected during the 2011 presidential and legislative elections, or those elected following a by-election to complete the unexpired term of a deceased senator who was as well elected in 2011.
However, due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the constitutional timeframe prescribed for the holding of said election has been adjusted by a joint resolution of both houses of the Liberian Legislature following a request from the National Elections Commission. The midterm senatorial election will now be held on December 8, 2020.
Interestingly, the ensuring midterm senatorial election comes at a time when traditional strongholds of the ruling coalition for Democratic Change are fast crumbling and disintegrating to the convenience of the opposition. A case in point is the defeat afflicted on the CDC by opposition candidate Abraham Darius Dillon in Montserrado county.
CDC’s ambitious 2020 plan:
For obvious political reasons, the pending midterm election is as significant to the opposition block as it is to the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change. and this is so because the outcome of the election will have a significant impact on the country’s next presidential election. And as for the ruling CDC, since it is more focused on winning the next than providing democratic governance for the state, it sees the midterm election is a do or die battle. The party wants to win at all cost in order to renew Mr. Weah’s bleak twenty-four presidential ambition regardless of the many deficiencies that have characterized his government in a relative short period of time. Paradoxically, many CDCians, including President Weah himself viewed the upcoming midterm election as an opportunity to regain lost territories from the opposition block. They want to do so by winning seats in vote-rich counties like Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Nimba, Lofa, Bong, and Margibi, in order consolidate support for their party across the country to the effect that they can win the 2023 presidential and legislative election.
On one hand, this view, no matter how elusive and impractical, portrays the true nature of a typical CDCian: that nothing maters to them, not even the collective good of the motherland, in as much as Mr. Weah’s material needs are being supplied. On the other hand, this view presents a daunting and insurmountable task for the party because of the miserable failures of the Weah-led government. The once “mighty” CDC has been placed in a tight corner owing to the decimal performance of the government coupled with the obnoxious economic conditions. The chips are clear that the once “mighty CDC will crumble to the opposition.
CDC on a diminishing path:
The collapse of the CDC in Montserrado County says a lot about how things have changed. Except for the July 29, 2019 by-election for Montserrado which was occasioned by the unfortunate passing of Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, code-named Lady Zico, the Congress for Democratic Change had won all previous elections as far as the senatorial seat for Montserrado County is concerned. Former and current senators of Montserrado from 2005 to present, including Hanna Brant, Joyce Musu Freeman, Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, George Weah and Saah H. Joseph were all elected on the ticket of the Congress for Democratic Change. According to some pundits, the defeat of the CDC by the opposition in Montserrado County is part of a plan to delegitimize the party politically on account of the government’s excesses.
Following the inception of the Weah’s presidency, many Liberians were hopeful of a new era of democratic of governance in Liberia where accountability and transparency would be prioritized. Unbelievably, this is not the case because nothing has changed as anticipated by the voters. Corruption, greed, hypocrisy and political patronage have become the guiding principle of the government. The state continues to degenerate under the CDC government as the condition of the “masses” keeps deteriorating at an unparalleled speed. Many Liberian have grown increasingly wary and frustrated based on the unprecedented economic difficulties they continue to painfully endure as a result of the inability of the CDC led government to make good on its campaign promises. One would recall that “change” was at the epicenter of the CDC’s presidential campaign during the 2017 elections. But three years down the line, the reality, I mean the true meaning of slogan “change for hope” is gradually being unearthed. the writings on the wall are clear as crystal, for even the blind, that all the clamoring for “change” was not genuine, it was merely a fake posturing and a political gimmick. Time and circumstances have proven that it was all a self-seeking voyage.
CDC’s 2020 candidate dilemma
It appears that the two defeats in recent electoral history when Edward Papay Flomo and Darius Dillon won as Representative and Senator in Monterrado County has struck CDC deeply in the anus with no ounce to bounce back and put out giant candidates that will restore its damaged political image in Montserrado, a place that used to be a political waterloo for candidates contesting against the Congress for Democratic Change. In the face of this dilemma, the CDC is mind-confused as to who to pick that will serve as its David to fight and win Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties. The buoyant economy is now depressed, corruption and raw appetite for material posterity has now taken the center stage amongst elements within the CDC.
An impeccable source within the cranny of the CDC hinted that in a shadowy manner, the CDC is bent on featuring pluralistic candidates in Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties, a disastrous strategy that steamed from the fact that the CDC is plucked with inner fear and precarious predicament that a defeat in these elections will serve as a litmus test for a stronger political postulation in any future political endeavor.
Pragmatic political analysis indicate that the CDC is lost on how to the fetch candidates that will obliterate the political dominance of Senators Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence and Abraham Darius Dillon in Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties. The CDC believes that this try-error method will serve as a political therapy that resuscitates its diminishing political dominance in Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties.
In furtherance to this political gamble, the CDC has turned to defeated Senator G. Milton Findley, Rep. Vincent Willie and Methylene Harris for political rescue in Grand Bassa County. The party has started to bankroll these would-be candidates ahead of the 2020 showdown. Notwithstanding, Findley is the CDC’s presumptive Senatorial Candidate in Grand Bassa. Findley who prided himself as an errant-boy for Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is being coerced, pressured, and induced by President Weah to contest against Senator Lawrence, a female giant and Political Leader of the Liberty Party, who has the nose and eye for politics.
Findley, now a comfortable member in President Weah’s Corrupt cabinet is perceived by many in Bassa as a casual opportunist, a bitter and angry man seeking revenge against the fallen luminary Cllr. Brumskine and the Liberty Party for his humiliating defeat in the 2014 Senatorial Election.
Can Findley rescue a drowning CDC?
Since his miserable defeat in 2014, Mr. Findley absconded the corridors of Bassa Politics. He went into political oblivion until he sadly resurfaced during the 2017 presidential election at which time he portrayed himself as a conflicted and self-seeking character undeserving of the public trust when he pledged support to two candidates, Joseph Baokai and George Weah in the same election. Following the CDC’s victory in 2017, Findley was appointed Foreign Minister of the Republic of Liberia, a position he still occupies up to present. In Bassa, many see the attempt by Findley to resign such high-profiled post and contest in an election with very limited possibilities of winning, as foolish and misguided. Findley served as senator for nine years with no blueprint left to point to in Grand Bassa County. During an interview with the late Mamadee Diakitee in 2016, Findley unearthed that “he didn’t perform” to the expectations of the Bassa people and that’s why he was harshly vanquished in 2014.
So, no task has ever appeared more daunting and fearing than that which CDC has imposed on him [Findley] to contest against the politically iron-strong landlady in Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence. Defeating incumbent Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence in Grand Bassa is not impossible but seems as difficult as passing a camel through the eye of a needle.