Opposition political parties in Liberia are coming to terms and perhaps perplexed to realize that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has no intention to include them in her government in a significant way in a bid to conciliating the country after a messy and controversial election which the opposition boycotted for what they termed as an unfair and fraudulent runoff election held last November.
The realization of President Sirleaf’s intention to sideline the opposition comes against the backdrop that considering how divisive, chaotic, and violent the elections turned, resulting in riot and the subsequent shooting and killing of opposition partisans by the country state security forces would warrant a necessity for a rational President and government for the sake of healing the country and people. Embracing her opponents by giving them cabinet appointments of significant profile as a genuine commitment to reconciliation so centered in the President’s inauguration address would fulfill the true essence of reconciliation, the victor having ‘mutual respect’ of the victim’ or opponent.
With the Liberian President finally completing the composition of her cabinet and no member of the opposition appointed to her cabinet, leaders of the opposition have come out loud reminding President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of a brokered promise to include the opposition in her government reached during reconciliation talks in Ghana ahead of her inauguration as gesture to pacify an intense and frenzy political environment and threatening stability.
Cllr. Winston Tubman, nephew of the country’s longest-serving President, William VS Tubman and Standard Bearer of the largest opposition party of that West African nation which boycotted the runoff election last November, is the loudest voice coming out to cry out to President Sirleaf reminding her of the brokered promise to include the opposition in her cabinet. The former United Nations Diplomat plead reminding President Sirleaf to include the opposition in her government could be conceived as gross desperation by the opposition begging for jobs and ‘going that low’, giving cues the opposition is willing to accept any job they are given and that he Cllr Tubman is prepared to present his Curriculum Vita (CV) as others are doing if and when appointed by the President.
The leading opposition party, Congress for Democratic Change, CDC boycotted the runoff election last November on grounds that the process fraudulent and unfair, vowing not to recognize the result which saw President Sirleaf re-elected to a second term uncontested with a low turnout of 38%, winning 28% of the votes, the lowest win by any President in modern history and threatened to lock down the country’s capitol, Monrovia with a mass demonstration during inauguration.
Liberian state security forces forcibly moved on supporters of the opposition party, Congress for Democratic Change after they gathered at their headquarters on the eve of the November 8th runoff to peacefully rally against the holding of the runoff election which they boycotted when the National Election Commission refused to honor their quest the runoff election be rescheduled and the commission be restructured.
Riot broke out in reaction to state security and some partisans of the party were shot at point-blank and killed, wounding others and perpetrators of that bloody Monday are yet to be brought to justice.
But to the excitement of Liberians everywhere, the opposition walked back their threats and attended President Sirleaf’s second inauguration and recognized her government after a preceded series of conciliatory meetings with the opposition and the Sirleaf administration which broke down with a substantive agreement.
Liberians responded to boycott the as the result of blood share to the eve of the runoff election with a low stunning low turnout of 38% which President Sirleaf won by 28%, a sharp contrast from her 44% win in the first round of the election held last October and a disappointing 34% short of 72% turnout of the first round.
The boycott and low turnout of the runoff election, produced President Sirleaf’s second term illegitimate, lacking the mandate to govern and the weakest democratic government ever elected in recent times, bringing tremendous pressure on President Sirleaf to reign in the opposition.