-In Popularity Ranking Poll
To the surprise of many observers of Liberia’s political scene, the popularity ratings of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led by President George Manneh Weah is still topping on two opinion polls recently conducted by the PUBLIC AGENDA regarding the coming senatorial by-elections and the way the economy is being managed.After the change of government and scathing criticisms against the leadership of President Weah especially for the signing of a loan agreements not familiar to Liberian politicians, most of whom often depend on the United States government and traditional donors for grants and loans hand-outs, it was assumed by many that the CDC’s popularity ratings has declined considerably.
But far from that, our opinion poll team that travelled around Monrovia and in Kakata, Margibi County found out that the two loan agreements and the fight against corruption, efforts to lay the foundations of a sound educational system, and to ensure paved roads connectivity in the country have in fact added to President Weah’s popularity ratings among Liberians throughout the country.
Concerning the coming by-elections, many of those who responded to our questions said it is likely that the CDC is again heading for a landslide victory in the by-elections to be held for the vacant senate seats left by President Weah and his vice President Madam Jewel Howard Taylor. One credit on the side of the CDC administration is the high level of political tolerance exercised y the regime since coming to power.
Liberia has just gone through a presidential and general elections in which 20 candidates contested for the one presidential seat and several candidates contested for legislative seats in electoral districts across the country.
Throughout the elections the popularity of the CDC was so overwhelming that that it was difficult for any newly formed political party to come closer, the youths compose of 70% of Liberia’s population, with most of them below the age of 35 years old.
The closet rival to President Weah’s CDC during the elections was the ruling Unity Party (UP) with Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai as its presidential candidates. Despite that the outgoing President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did not see eye to eye with Ambassador Boakai, the UP became a thorn in the flesh of President Weah’s presidential ambitions in many parts of the country throughout the elections and the presidential run-off elections.
The CDC’s popularity throughout the campaign period was boosted by the party’s experience on the ground as they have contested two unsuccessful elections against Ex-President Sirleaf in 2005 and again in 2011, a large number of the unemployed youths on their side and also for the absence of Madam Sirleaf on the campaign trail with the UP Flag bearer that caused a large number of the Sirleaf loyalists in government to side with the CDC. (By John L. Momoh).