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George Manneh Weah : Liberia’s Next President in 2018?

CDC’s Presidential Candidate George Weah and his running-mate Jewel H. Taylor Lock down the Liberian Capital as they announce Presidential Campaign

Weah, the football legend and now senator of Montserrado, was nominated by a coalition comprising of the National Patriotic Party of former Liberian president Charles G. Taylor, his own Congress for Democratic Change, and the Liberia People Democratic Party of former House Speaker Alex J. Tyler.

Video Credit: AfricaNews

West Africa – Liberians are headed for presidential election on October 10, 2017. One thing certain, in that election, there cannot and will not be any clear winner in the first round. That means there will be a second round in which the two strongest candidates, one of whom will surely be Senator George Weah, will literarily battle for victory in an election that seems to be already decided or over, if we follow the syllables of politics or political science: Numbers.

CDC’s Supporters

In explaining why politics is called a “science” even though it is an “art,” philosopher Immanuel Kant once said: “I claim that in every science, there is only as much actual science as there is mathematics.” For Kant, politics is called science because there is some math involved, but not as much as physics or other “hard” sciences.

Looking at the numbers of people that turned out during the Saturday’s launch of Senator George Weah’s presidential campaign, it is logically reasonable to say that he is, potentially, the next president of Liberia.

The CDC’s presidential hopeful not only shut down the vicinity in which his political party call home and where his campaign was launched; he had the entire Liberian capital Monrovia on a lockdown.

According to workddometer.info, the current population of Liberia is 4,744,616 as of Sunday, August 20, 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates. 50.5 % of the population is urban (2,388,378 people in 2017) and the median age in Liberia is 18.7 years. This is Senator Weah’s base and stronghold, and he is surely doing well in terms of popularity with the voters than any other candidate in the race.

For a presidential candidate to do that in an election circle in which about 50 percent of the 2 million plus eligible and registered voters live sends a strong but chilling message to his rivals. It also psychologically defeats the enthusiasms of his rivals’ supporters as well.

Having lockdown Monrovia, the Liberian capital, Senator Weah only needs to garner few pockets of votes from Nimba, Lofa, Margibi and Grand Bassa counties and the election will essentially be over.

There are and will always be few people who might disagree with this over-confidence assertion that Senator Weah is the likely president. And, they have every right to do so. As one political science intern once said about political science: “it’s called a science so people with no discernible skill can justify getting paid what they do for speaking with authority on subjects they don’t understand.”

Political activists, pundits and scholars, both in and out of Liberia, who think Senator Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change will not be the likely winner of the final Liberian presidential polls are people with no discernible skills who justify for talking or get paid.

Senator Weah is a phenomenon in Liberian life and Liberian politics. His inspiration and the likeability he brings to this year’s election are unmatched. His appeal as a soccer “genius’ cuts across the entire Liberian nation and most parts of the world.

Given the momentum seen on Senator Weah’s side during his official presidential campaign launch on Saturday, August 19, 2017, one can effectively say that Liberians must begin to redirect and focus their minds to welcoming the CDC as the political party in waiting to take state power in January 2018.
The big question is governance, the central pillar of politics or political science.

As president, Mr. Weah will be expected to govern Liberia, redefine and restructure lots of things to ensure accountability, transparency, responsiveness, the rule of law, and stability. He can be effective in doing those things named despite not having an Ivy league degree. After all, the Liberian constitution, like hundreds of other nations’ constitution, does not list possession of a degree as a requirement for president.

Moreover, the person considered one of the best presidents in Africa, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, does not have degrees. Yet, he has elevated Rwanda at a level that African presidents with western education and degrees have failed to do.

Therefore, instead of waiting, Senator Weah’s most senior management should begin to assemble a “shallow” cabinet––people with the experience and requisite dossiers to help move Liberia forward.

      Wife of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, and current vice presidential running-mate of George Manneh Weah

      Video  Credit: FrontPage Africa – Liberia’s foremost daily newspaper

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Blama G. Konuwah

Blama G. Konuwah resides in Vancouver, Canada. He is a public issues analyst and senior contributor to Globe Afrique.

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