The looming danger of a one-party state in Liberia
To understand the looming danger that a one-party state it is noteworthy to highlight some of the underpinning defects of such a state. A one-party state is one in which only one political party has the right to form a government. This concept is based on political orthodoxy and the danger that comes with it runs contrary to the democratic founding principles that undergird our republic. These founding principles encourage pluralism; a sort of diversity-centered system in which race, class, viewpoints and political groups coexist in the governance of the Republic. Furthermore, these founding principles were designed to breed a multi-party-political system that allows parties across the political spectrum to compete in elections in order to control national government.
A one-party state is undemocratic; it does not allow the electorates alternatives from which to make informed political choices. Decision making is often exoteric and vested in a small unit of the governing party and anyone outside the sphere of the ruling clique is considered politically irrelevant. Moreover, the state becomes dictatorial and supreme power is vested in the hands of one man. In such society, freedom is suppressed, and modernity is rarely achieved because those outside of the governing cliques do not freely contribute their quotas to the development of the state, and the overarching effect of that is that certain segment of society becomes disenfranchised, discontent and rebellious. So, when Mr. Mulba Morlu opined to CDC’s loyalist that “the ultimate goal of the CDC is to make Liberia a one-party state”, we are left to wonder if it a bluster or a designed vision of CDC? But even if we are to assume that Mr. Morlu’s statement is wacky, contemptible and far-fetched, recent statement by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor in Bong County, admonishing her constituents that “if you want job in this government you have to join CDC” confirms Mr. Morlu’s statement of creating a one-party state in Liberia; a vision which in my mind is in breach of the dual approach to governance that our forbearers envisioned.
What makes Chairman Morlu’s and Vice President Taylor’s statement worrisome is that the CDC-led government is actually behaving in ways that conform to the sentiments expressed by Mr. Morlu and Ms. Taylor. Under the CDC-led government journalist had been threatened and publicly scolded for being critical of government policies. In some cases, critical views of the government have been met with a cantankerous rebuttal and smearing label like “Enemies of the Country”. Not too long ago, Journalist Jonathan Paye-layleh was publicly scolded by pres. George Weah for daring to ask an opened question. Despite public outrage over the President’s undignified outburst towards Mr. Paye-layleh, the President double-down in Bong County by referring to critics of the Eton loan agreement as “enemies of the country. In addition to its desire for conformity, this administration is also buying loyalty and promising jobs as incentives to the opposition who will cross-carpet and the results have been cross-carpeting of gravy-seekers to CDC.
Moreover, the administration’s aggressive posture in handling oppositions has emboldened some elements within the governing CDC to clamp down harshly on those who have openly questioned the President authority; such was the case when state security brutally assaulted members of the Student Unification Party (SUP) for daring to demand that the President declares his asset. Currently, there is also a pending impeachment proceeding against Justice Kabina Ja’neh who stands accused by Rep. Acarous Gray and Rep. Thomas Fallah of engaging in malfeasance, despite the lack of independent investigations to establish his guilt. It is widely known however that Justice Ja’neh’s opinion in the election saga, which was presumed to be unfavorable to CDC is the cardinal sin of the astute Justice and the reasoning behind his impeachment rancor amongst CDCians in the House of Representative.
As I see it, there is no other explanation for this government’s continuous intimidations of critics, but to force those it considers oppositions to be loyal followers; thereby creating a monolithic political society in which CDC’s grand vision of a one-party state will prevail. But Liberians have come a long way in pursuit of multiparty democracy and the notion that Liberia will be a one-party state is a dangerous foreplay in our political dialectics and a choice we are unwilling to stomach.
About the author: Nyaquoi Gehgan Bowman is a Liberian writer who is a passionate observer of Liberian government and politics. He is an avid observer of the Liberian presidency. He can be reached at Vera4nya@yahoo.com
Main Pic: Chief Justice of Liberia Francis Kporpor, who have been accused of presiding over a bogus impeachment proceedings of an associate justice of the supreme court in an effort for the CDC and the Weah led govt to cement its control of the judiciary, having successfully taken over the House and the Senate where the party has no majority in both Houses