Friday, 24 June 2005

UP Sets The Democratic Stage

  Elect County Officials, Others

The Unity Party (UP) is setting what political commentators say is the “democratic stage” intended to give the country a new democratically pluralistic experience which it has struggled to institute for decades. This was expressed in the holding of the mini- county-wide conventions.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  - UP

  The conventions were held in the southeastern counties of River Gee, Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and Grand Kru.

  The essence of the conventions, according to party officials was to elect the party’s county officials who will steer the ship of party activities until the October elections and beyond and to also elect those who earlier expressed their desire to go to the national legislature on the party’s ticket.

   Besides that, it is apparently in keeping with the laws of the party to host nation-wide conventions in order to elect those who will represent the party leadership at the local levels and those vying for representative and senatorial positions instead of the normal verbal declarations of intent as done in  past  cases in other political institution activities.

  The Standard Bearer of the party, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led staunch partisans to give it the needed boost and attention.

   The first phase of the mini convention supervised by the Standard Bearer got underway at the Pleebo High School, in Pleebo City Maryland County.

  7 delegates were drawn from each of the four districts in the county to execute the task of electing their local leadership.

     Positions contested for are Chairman, vice chairman for administration and operations respectively, Secretary, treasurer, chairmen of the youths and women wings, among others.

   Besides elections for county officers, delegates also elected those who earlier declared intentions to go to the national legislature on the party’s ticket.

 Following series of hiccups, the process finally went through and at the end, delegates elected leaders of their choice to lead the party local activities.

  Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott and John Barlue were elected as senatorial aspirants for Maryland County on the ticket of the UP while Dr. Bhufur Chambers and two others were elected as representative aspirants.

  These individuals are to go against other aspirants from other political parties.

   The Standard Bearer who spearheaded the process thanked the elected officers and aspirants for their victories. She also challenged them to make sure that the party wins those slots.

   Apart from that, the program was intermittently interrupted by a large crowd that converged on the campus, the venue of the UP’s convention apparently to glance at the UP standard bearer, who most Liberian women see as role model or for other personal reasons. Security officers worked extra-ordinarily to ensure that things did not go out of hands.

  Children, marketers, youths and elderly abandoned their engagements and rushed on the campus to see Madam Sirleaf, the woman who ranked second in the 1997 special election won by former war lord Charles Taylor.

   At the end of the convention, Madam Sirleaf led two teams to the playing pitch of the Pleebo High School under the guidance of Grebo Band where she took the official kick-off.

   The normal political tensions that at times characterized those types of occasions could not be avoided.

    The UP Standard Bearer and party then journeyed to Grand Kru County despite the deplorable condition of the road for the continuation of the convention. She was accorded an exceptional reception in Bewan, the first town in Grand Kru from Pleebo, Maryland.

   Following a compendious indoor program at the local Methodist church where a special statement was presented, the first partisan headed for Barclayville, the administrative seat of Grand Kru.

    However, the Barclayville convention was characterized by contentions as delegates from Trehn District complained of attempts to marginalize them. Following several minutes of arguments, the convention finally got underway with the qualification of the official delegates of 49.

   The delegates went to the elections and elected their representatives as well as county officials.

   The same thing was done for River Gee, Sinoe and Grand Gedeh Counties where several county officers as well as legislative aspirants were elected by their people to represent them in the positions of trust.

courtesy: The Analyst