Special Awards In Pictures

-Did Nathaniel Barnes Comments Share Light On Liberia’s Choice For President
Most Liberians might have been thinking that not every presidential aspirant for the race to the Executive Mansion has the herewithal to provide the kind of leadership required to pilot the country through the bumpy terrains ahead. Of course, some of them (candidates) know their low capacity to carry Liberia’s burdens but are yet unbending in their determination, careless about the loud cries in the wilderness. This is the true representation of Mr. Nathaniel Barnes’ comments while parting company with the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).The New Republic dives into his deep-seated comments that derive from pensive analysis of the debates and aspirants’ credibility and quality.

Dr.Nat Barnes 9x6A populist Prince Johnson or George Weah or a centrist Charles Walker Brumskine, Mills Jones, Joseph Boakai, or Alexander Cummings that is good for Liberia as president in these trying times is at the top of discussions in many quarters. Answer lies with the decision of the voters in October of this year. But others are not wanting for kismet to speak their minds, whether Liberians accept or not.

Depending on who talked to, each and every Liberian has something positive or negative about each of the presidential aspirants. Based on connections, those concerns could be genuine or not. 

What’s trending

The most trending issue is the resignation of Ambassador Milton Nathaniel Barnes from the Governing Council of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). Mr. Barnes Wednesday tendered a letter of resignation to the CDC through its Chair, Mr. Nathaniel McGill.

Amb. Barnes said he was exploring his options and remains committed to being an agent of positive change in Liberia. The former Ambassador to the US stated, “I have served as a public servant of Liberia for almost 20 years; my concern for the welfare of the Liberian people transcends my ambition to be President.” “Above all, I am concerned about the social and economic well-being of all Liberians based on a foundation of reconciliation, justice, fairness, equity and prosperity for all.”
According to him, he fully intends to remain engaged within the political process focusing on strong principles rather than a populist approach.

“Not only do Liberian people deserve the very best from their elected leaders,” Barnes averred, “I believe they are able to discern what is best for themselves. They will determine their own destiny. I am fervently praying for the best outcome for the people – especially those most marginalized by the current status quo.”

News Analysis
Though he did not name anyone, his statement seems to be highlighting the importance of voting candidates on the basis of the values they bring to the table, rather than on the basis of popularity.

According to him, he fully intends to remain engaged within the political process focusing on strong principles rather than a populist approach. Juxtaposing his comments while resigning from a party whose political leader is said to be depending on popularity against standing for principles is a factor of concern. It appears that he disagrees with the way CDC is proceeding, perhaps trying to use Weah’s so-called popularity as the only trump card. 

The CDC has from time to time bragged of winning the elections because it has the numbers, though critics think such claims are far-fetched. The 2005 controversial elections proved CDC popular strength, but that was not the case in 2011 as the party lost in many parts of the country due to the drop in numbers.

Dr. Barnes might have understood, as an insider, that the CDC is much more concerned with populist idea, rather than carving a convincing agenda on the basis of principle.

But whether is the CDC as a party or Weah as a person lacking the principles required to lead remains scanty. The party in recent witnessed the departures of several partisans, with most of them citing lack of direction and principles for their actions. 

Some of them accused the political leader of demanding huge sum of money from aspirants as pre-conditions to be on the party's ticket. Last week, the CDC announced arrangements for primaries and called on aspirants to register. The party is charging US$1,250 as fees for legislative contenders. Critics such amount is too exorbitant.

Waves of shaky elections result

The world is witnessing a new dynamism in elections. As witnessed in the US and other nations, the debate is between centralism and populism. Donald Trump’s election in the US, according to analysts set a new order in world elections. Voters are less more concerned about who is the best politician, but what appeals to their consciences and beliefs.

Not populist, Trump took advantage of the dissatisfactions that hovered for years amongst Americans about the country’s. The party in recent witnessed the departures of several partisans, with most of them citing lack of direction and principles for their actions.

Some of them accused the political leader of demanding huge sum of money from aspirants as pre-conditions to be on the party's ticket. Last week, the CDC announced arrangements for primaries and called on aspirants to register. The party is charging US$1,250 as fees for legislative contenders. Critics such amount is too exorbitant.

Waves of shaky elections result

The world is witnessing a new dynamism in elections. As witnessed in the US and other nations, the debate is between centralism and populism. Donald Trump’s election in the US, according to analysts set a new order in world elections. Voters are less more concerned about who is the best politician, but what appeals to their consciences and beliefs.

Not populist, Trump took advantage of the dissatisfactions that hovered for years amongst Americans about the country’s political trajectory. In Liberia, it may also not be about populism (popularity) but about who is capable to transform the nation and give Liberians what they deserve. Until then, the question will always be “a populist, or someone more centrist.”

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