Monday, December 05, 2011

The need for alternative county wide introspection in Gbarpolu County

                              By; Sam K Zinnah

The November 8, 2011 legislative elections results ushered in new breed of law makers in Gbarpolu County. The results changed the ways that people of Gbarpolu County are going to feel, listen, do things politically and relate to one another. Everyone I talk to during the political campaign expressed concern that the County was leaning toward a new political era. Their political friendship was being shaped by either political rhetoric or fallacies but some admitted that reality would set in after casing the ballots.

The feelings expressed were as divided as polling stations across the county. One thing voters were very passionate and united about was “change”. Subjects like road construction and development were discussed in commercial vehicles, market places, front and back porches, farm roads and drinking spots around the county. The idea that the campaign was very peaceful and that the electorates had something to contribute to the rest of the world by campaigning peacefully and hoping for a violent free transparent elections meant a historic shift not only in Gbarpolu County political but Liberia as a whole.

For Gbarpolu County, the November 8, 2011 marked a transcending moment of one of the many obstacles confronting the County. The ghost of painful political memories stand buried. The coming years are likely to be auspicious for political actions and countywide renaissance as sign by the incumbents’ response to the elections results. In my opinion and political view, the time has come for Gbarpolu County to force the hands of history for its own good.
The outcome and incumbents response to the November 8, 2011 elections must give Gbarpolu County a pause and reasons to re-evaluate its political future, monitored the next years to come and strategize the next course of political actions.
As to the orderliness, fairness, credibility and transparency of the electoral process, it was in this case, unlike other pre-war instances, very objective. To underline the fairness and transparency of the process, the ruling Unity Party, in Gbarpolu County, lost three of the four legislative seats to the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).

True enough, if the process was compared to the 1985 and 2007 undertakings which were fraught with overt and gross irregularities, the results would be far different. What stands more laughable is the electoral credibility factor raised by opposition CDC. As transparent, peaceful and fair as the electoral process was, and as welcomed as CDC convenience factor was, the allegations of CDC ascertaining the credibility and validity of the electoral process in which they (CDC) won 15 legislative seat nationally and three legislative seat out of four in Gbarpolu County and kept the seats won while alleging that the electoral process was not fair, clearly expose their political motives.

When legislative elections results were announced, it was clear that the entire incumbent lost their legislative seat in Gbarpolu County. The losers accepted the results and congratulated the winners in that there were no protests or rejection of any results.
It was clear that the dignified people of Gbarpolu had spoken through the ballot box. What I quickly said to myself was “it would be a dreadful mistake to move on to doing business as usual without closely looking at events and analyzing the anger that brought about the recent political change in Gbarpolu County”.
Mr. Sam K. Zinnah
Frankly, this time should be used for alternative county wide introspection; not a moment for cross and unbridled triumphalism despite the deep political divide in the County. Maybe some political opponents have been under or mis judged in the past. The next six or nine years will provide the new breed of law makers the opportunities to move the county in the direction they portrayed during their political campaign. Six or nine years may sound like a century but in the twinkle of an eye, we will be back to the ballot box to be evaluated for our campaign promises and to be politically rewarded. If the newly elected law makers fail to address the obvious and not-so-obvious pitfalls on which their campaign were based, they too should be prepared for similar and even more dissembling political actions against them at the ballot box comes the next elections.

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