Post Mortem on Liberia’s 2014 Election and Implications for 2017 – the CDC factor


By Atty. Wonderr Koryenen Freeman



The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
January 7, 2015

                  



 
George Manneh Weah

Alright, the 2014 election is over and by we all know who stands where – if we did not know before then. But even as the election is now history, it is important to ponder on its results, impact and implications for 2017. This of course is not to discount the certainty of uncertainty in predicting any future event. But given the results we have (with a little peep into the past), we can make a few bold claims and half a dozen conjectures.

2014 revived of the political fortunes of Liberia most famous son.
Manneh has been running for positions since 2005 – dropping from the Presidency to the Vice Presidency, and lately the Senate. After back-to-back defeats (or “cheating” if you are a CDCian), Manneh has finally hit gold. With his hopes and bragging rights fully restored, the Monstserrado Senator now has a small playing field to practice for the forthcoming presidential election. The momentum is now on his side and his followers are now happy that a least for once, NEC did not cheat the football icon (Liberia’s black diamond). But what this victory means for 2017 is quite another story, as I shall endeavor to expound on shortly.

2014 was a very bad year for the people’s party - the CDC.
On the opposite end of Manneh’s great victory is the abysmal failure of his CDC make a mark in the election. Irrespective of which angle one analyzes the results, the CDC performance was a flat failure. For a party that claims to be the peoples’ party, the largest party, the masses party, to win a mere 2 seats out of the 15 available seats, is failure by any standard. If you calculate that on any “bonanza” you will get the same result – 13.3% of the available seat. That’s laughable for a party that talking about taking state power. But let’s grant for the sake of the argument that the CDC is all Manneh and nothing else; hence the poor results for the CDC in the 15 counties was simply because ‘Georgee’ was not on the ballot in all the counties. So what’s the record like when “Georgee” was on the ballot vis-à-vis the instances when he was not on the ballot?

2014 shows that Weah/CDC’s physical stock of vote in Montserrado County is declining
The CDC believes that they are the ruling party in waiting simply on account of the Weah’s present victory. It defies logic how a party can be talking about being the ‘ruling party in waiting’ after winning a mere 13.3% of the available seats. But this too is Liberia, as the legendary Tom Kamara was fond of saying. But to put the Weah’s current victory into perspective, we need to go back into time to understand Manneh’s prospects for 2017. Below is a table of Manneh/CDC’s actual vote count in Montserrado County. In this table, the figures speak for themselves – and this statement lead to only one logical conclusion: 2017 will be no slam dunk for Weah and/or the CDC. Manneh’s popularity did not raise the turnout in 2017(talk of enthusiasm???), nor did it help the CDC actual physical stock of votes down from 233,000 (in 2011) when Geraldine Doe was on the ballot, to 99,000 (in 2014), when Liberia’s most famous son was on the ballot. I am still at loss to find out why Manneh, with all his popularity, was unable to even muster 50% of the senatorial votes from 2011? Is it the female factor? Is it the disillusionment with politicians? Is the story of too many children at CDC rallies true? Or is the CDC violent posture putting-off many of their erstwhile sympathizers?


Montserado County Senatorial Vote Trend for CDC Candidates
*all figures are culled from NEC website*

Actual Votes

Year

Voters’ Turn Out

(General Election Year) votes cast for H. Brent (+) Musu Freeman

 

166,008

2005

75%

(By-Election Year, Run-off) votes cast for Geraldine Doe Sheriff

 

58,384

2009

22%

(General Election Year) votes cast for Geraldine Doe-Sheriff

 

233,038

2011

70%

(By-Election Year) George Manneh Weah

99,000

2014

20%

Okay, let’s grant that the previous figures are for senatorial elections and not for the presidential elections. So, to be fair let us look at the presidential election figures. Again CDC has shown dominance in Montserrado County, but has never been able to command an absolute majority. This razor-thin (simple) majority in Montserrado County for the CDC is much to its disadvantage since outside of Montserrado, the party is losing everywhere else but Grand Gedeh. So any party that pulls off a strong showing as the UP in Montserrado (as demonstrated in 2005 & 2011), will go on to whip the CDC in the remaining counties and carry the day. Of course, Mulbah Morlu and others will call a press conference and denounce the results. This will come as no surprise, of course, since the only fair election NEC can ever conduct (in the eyes of CDCians) is the one in which Manneh/CDC wins. And life will go on despite their history of rejecting election results!


Montserrado County Presidential Vote Trend  *all figures are culled from NEC website*

Votes Cast per Party

Total Valid Votes

Percent Won

CDC’s Advantage in Montserrado County

CDC 2005 Weah/Johnson, First Round

138,513

370,725

37%

+7%

UP 2005 Sirleaf/Boakai, First Round

110,740

370,725

30%

 

 

 

 

CDC 2011 Tubman/Weah, First Round

207,710

453,467

46%

+2%

UP 2011 Sirleaf/Boakai, First Round

201,346

453,467

44%

 

2014 election beyond the numbers
I certainly do not intend to infer herein that the figures tell the whole story. Of course, there may be many non-statistical variables that could shape the 2017 election beyond our rational expectation. Like how, perhaps, people in all the 13 counties who voted against CDC candidates (in 2014) could suddenly decide in 2017 to fall in love with  CDC candidates, since, by then, Liberia’s most famous son will be top on the ballots . We shall see how possible is it for a voting pattern established over the course of 9 years (2005 – 2014) to sharply change in 3 years (2015-2017). Then again, there could be a coalition or merger of the people’s party with other powerful groups. Yet the lessons learnt by Charles Brumskine, and lately Benoni Urey, is still fresh on our minds as to how much Weah’s CDC believes in coalitions and alliances. Or maybe Manneh’s could perform so well as a senator that the Liberia people finally become convinced to give him the presidential job (this also is quite possible). But of course, as regards Weah’s performance, there is a big question mark (as we all know in the Senate public speaking is the daily mantra, yet Weah’s only constant political trait demonstrated time and again (over 9 years) is to blunder each and every time he picks up a microphone (remember how just recently Manneh was the only one fighting for EBOLA, when everybody else was fighting against the EBOLA virus disease?). I don’t want to mention CDC’s trademark infighting, squabbles and tendency for unprovoked violence against other peaceful citizens and bystanders who (in their view) have the audacity to stay away from CDC rallies. There are just so many permutations of the future, we just have to wait and see.

I don’t do “Winners” or “Doxx” but if I were to bet my dime, it will certainly not be on Liberia most famous son come 2017. I stand to be corrected on this. As we say in Lib, time will tell, and Wonderr Koryenen is no soothsayer.

About the Author: Atty. Wonderr Koryenen Freeman, LLM, MBA, is a Liberian lawyer, Accountant and a socio-economic commentator. He resides in Paynesville, Liberia with his wife and kids. Wonderr Freeman has penned a number of articles for local dailies and online blogs. Some of his celebrated articles include: On Behalf of the Book People (10/2004); The CBL Economic Gospel vs the Reality of a Perpetually-Sinking Liberia Dollar (02/2012); Liberia’s Quest for Public Funding of Political Parties, a Case of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Public Policy Formulation (11/2012); Liberia Nigeria Central Banks Thread Separate Paths on MSME Financing (11/2013). The Plain Truth About the Liberian Economy –an Outsider Perspective (01/2014); African Union Summit on the ICC, in Whose Interest? (10/2013); Comparative Law Perspective on How to Defeat Liberia’s Major Public Enemy (03/2014); Atty. Freeman can be reached @ wonderrkfreeman@gmail.com/wonderr.freeman@yahoo.com

                 

Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Mr. Freeman,

You sound as a defeated and frustrated soul with such false, uncalled for and childish statement as " I don’t want to mention CDC’s trademark infighting, squabbles and tendency for unprovoked violence against other peaceful citizens and bystanders who (in their view) have the audacity to stay away from CDC rallies. There are just so many permutations of the future, we just have to wait and see."

Call spade a spade.Manneh won the 2005, and 2011, presidential elections just as evidenced by his tsunamic victory even over a president´s favorite billionaire son!!! This is an OPEN SECRET WORLDWIDE!

Secondly, your view that because a party with the largest following ( in this case CDC)does not win all or nearly all seats in every election means the "party has failed flat" even while maintaining its unmatched national popularity proves a very poor understanding on your part when it comes to democracy and elections. Criss-cross such phenomenon past and present and you shall realize your limitations.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 02:21AM, 2015/01/07.
Flahn Momoh Dualu
Must you list every garbage you've written? Who read that trash, 2 by 4 lawyer Freeman?
Flahn Momoh Dualu at 09:29AM, 2015/01/07.
wonderr koryenen
so difficult to argue with the FACTs... so why not attack the individual - CDC style?
wonderr koryenen at 02:19AM, 2015/01/08.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Mr. Freeman,

The ACTUALITY here is that YOUR REASONING supporting whatever you may term as "facts" IS POOR AND INFERIOR! PERIOD!

If it were "so difficult to argue with the FACTS" as you wrongly and patheticly believe, or whatever one believes becomes a fact, there would have never been the legal phenomena of rational basis test, ratio decedendi; nor would defense counsels ever be able to successfully win cases in which it is clear their clients have squarely committed the act of murder, theft, or whatever offense. Nor would courts be able to overturn precedents as the result of better or superior reasoning!

If you were not handicapped by your frustration and/or you are really a lawyer and not otherwise, you would have had a better reasoning and would have probably been intelligent to such intellectual, legal and scientific, instructions and realities we have articulated above!

Again, the ACTUALITY here is that YOUR REASONING supporting whatever you may term as "facts" IS POOR AND INFERIOR!PERIOD!
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 04:32AM, 2015/01/08.
T.Nathaniel Tamba 111
Considering the CDC´S triumphant excellence in its stronghold Montserrado County in the recent election, and the very impressive popularity this party enjoys at home and abroad, I do agree with Mr. Zoedjallah that the writer¨s reasoning is "poor and inferior" and that the writer´s (´Atty. Wonderer Freeman´s) "poor and inferior reasoning" is absolutely the result of grief mixed with anger accumulating into "frustration".

Here is why:

According to Atty. Wonderer Freeman " For a party that claims to be the peoples’ party, the largest party, the masses party, to win a mere 2 seats out of the 15 available seats, is failure by any standard."

How come Wonderer? In elections voters irrespective of which party the voter is a member or he or she supports may vote either for a candidate (whether said candidate is from the voter´s party or not) or the voter may cast his or her ballot for simply the party he belongs.

In other words, being a member or supporter of a given party does not mean one must cast his or her ballot for whoever is voting on the party´s ticket.For example a Republican member or supporter may vote for a candidate on a Democratic Party´s ticket or vice versa.

Failure of performance should only be imputed upon a political party if an when it does not perform well in its stronghold, and never if and when the very party remains the sole party enjoying such distinction of tumultuous or largest following at home and abroad; and have indeed demonstrated in its stronghold as the CDC has demonstrated in its stronghold - Montserrado County in the just ended senatorial election vis a vis its (CDC´S) COMMANDING HEIGHTS!
T.Nathaniel Tamba 111 at 12:01PM, 2015/01/08.
Kou Gontee
The fact of the matter is that analytically, the style, spirit, letter, or theme, of this article from Wonderer Freeman or whoever may actually be the actual writer tells that this person is a DISGRUNTLED INDIVIDUAL who could not bear the radiant victory of CDC over Robert Sirleaf.

Take for example this statement by the writer:

"But even as the election is now history, it is important to ponder on its results, impact and implications for 2017."

Now pray tell us Mr. Wonderer Freeman, if this is the case in your quotation above then WHY BORE US when you yourself admit " the election is now history."???

Look, good friend if you have no other place to spew or vent your disgruntlement please do not bore us. You should be telling the public how and why Robert Sirleaf (probably your candidate) could not discern or forsee that CDC was the obvious winner and not any such candidate who is a symbol of the corrupt government in Liberia today!!!
Kou Gontee at 03:56AM, 2015/01/09.
Ravi kant
The article you have shared here is very awesome. I really like and appreciate your work. The points you have mentioned in this article are useful.
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Ravi kant at 04:12AM, 2016/09/20.
Niki
After reading this article, I guess there is some problem with the elections and implications that were conducted this year. Hope the citizens have voted for the right deserving candidate who is capable of taking the responsibility of the entire country. internet providers
Niki at 05:46AM, 2017/06/28.

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