By: Jeremiah Sackie Cooper
Liberia: The Only known 2017 female presidential candidate Madam Macdella Cooper will not appear on the October 10, 2023 elections ballot paper based on her recent endorse of the Unity Party ticket for the 2023 elections.
Madam Cooper over the weekend endorsed the Boakai-Koung Team bid to rescue Liberia from its current state.
According to the Movement for One Liberia (MOL) Political leader, the decision to support the UP ticket was unanimous based on surveys pointing to huge numbers and decision by the Liberian people to ensure the elections of the Boakai-Koung ticket.
She further named the inability of President George Weah to properly handle the affairs of the country; poverty and lack of basic social services for the Liberian people by the Weahled government as reasons triggering the decision.
“Liberians are tired of the current state of affairs, they have decided to make a change. We have heard your cry Liberian women, marketers, everyone and we have decided today to join forces in ensuring that the Boakai-Koung ticket rescues LIberia”, Madam Cooper noted.
“Majority of the population can’t even afford school fees because of these reasons this country has gone through stoming times, bad days, hard times which has resulted in the death of thousand of ordinary Liberians. Because they know our ordinary Liberian can’t take British passport and travel. Despite these troubles and terrible things include the destruction of infrastructure, those in position of power have refused to change this governing struggle. They think it is their time to serve as the new slaves masters to our people. They also have refused to listen and learn the mistakes of the current governing structure which has been the root cause of all the terrible things that has happened in the country. They are still causing more suffering and insecurity in our country”, she stressed.
At an elaborate program at the MOL party headquarters in Congo Town, Madam Cooper used the occasion to rally her partisans and well wishers to join the rescue train in ensuring victory for the Boakai Koung ticket. She believes the ticket is equipped to do the needful for the Liberian people beyond 2023.
Receiving the endorsement, the Political leader of the Unity Party, Amb Joseph Nyumah Boakai lauded the Madam Macdella Cooper for joining the team.
The former Vice President indicated that it is time for the Liberian people to lead the Country and everyone must get involved. “Everyone who will come on this train must commit yourself to rescue Liberia. Let’s make this entire thing a first-round victory so there will be no room for negotiation. This is time to rescue Liberia”, Amb Boakai noted.
He buttressed Madam Cooper’s assertion of the poor state of the economy and economic hardship faced by Liberians.
“There is a parable in Liberia that says where you tie the goat that’s where it’ll eat, but what we see now is the goat is eating the rope, the sticks and everything around it”.Amb Boakai noted.
Also Speaking, Liberty Party Political Leader and Rescue Mother Sen. Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence further lauded the MOL for the endorsement and indicated that the main interest/meaning of the word “Rescue” is practical to the over burdened issues faced by Liberians currently.
“We want to rescue the issues of ambulances without fuel, women sitting over coal bags in pickups early morning risking their lives to earn meat for their families, it is too much, so we want to rescue that and more. So when we come to these rallies, we sing and dance, let’s not forget about the real meaning of the rescue train”, she emphasized.
Meanwhile, as part of the program, Gbarpolu County Senator Botoe Kanneh pledged her unflinching support to the bid of Boakai-Koung Ticket.
She assured the team of delivering Gbarpolu County to the Rescue mission team for the October polls. “We’re ready for the mission, we’re on board this train so we want all of you to join us because we’re tired”.
Sen. Kanneh is one of the two women senators currently in the Liberian senate for the next 6 years following her election in 2020.
The MOL endorsement of the UP by its political leader Macdella who has been leading the lappa revolution in Liberia, Critics say presents a contrast of the lappa movement. The revolution seeks to ensure more women are elected to parliament and or the presidency.
Critics indicated that the latest decision from the only female candidate in the 2017 elections seems to have created a huge setback to some of her supporters and the struggle for equal gender participation in the 2023 elections and future elections; creating a sense of lack of confidence for the participation of women in key positions in the Liberian political space.
Currently there is 11% women in the Legislature( That is, of the total of 103 Seats, women constitute 11, two in the Liberian Senate and 9 in the House of Representatives) and 7% in key government positions in the Weahled administration.
Recently President George Weah vetoed portions of the New Elections Law, of which section 4.5, 30% gender quota is apart of. The bill is currently before the legislature for scrutiny.
Women rights activists believe that the bill has died and lost its fruitfulness due to the lack of political will to ensure the quota.
Women in politics have waited for that bill to secure their spaces at different political parties and structures.
As it stands, some activists have questioned Pres. George Weah’s true stance for women political participation and feminist pronouncement.
However, on May 11, 2023, 22 of 25 registered political parties, alliances and coalitions and the National Elections Commission (NEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding )MOU) for the implementation of the minimum 30% gender quota for the candidate listing of the 2023 elections.
It still remains unclear whether there will be another female presidential candidate in the pending October polls.