Former Nigerian Ambassador, Joe Keshi and Senior Research Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Kester Onor shared different perspectives on the recently concluded Liberian Run-Off elections.
The Liberian presidential run-off election ended on the evening of Tuesday. Voters were asked to either political veteran Joseph Boakai or grant former football player turned president, George Weah, a second term in government despite his checkered record.
On Wednesday’s Morning Show interview on ARISE NEWS, Ambassador Keshi stated that the outcome of the initial general elections only showed that Weah may not have the upper hand as his popularity may have dropped over the years due to his inability to fulfill his promises over the years.
“If you have been President for 5 years and you go for an election only to beat your opponent with barely 7,000 votes, it shows you that the people are not generally satisfied with what you have done.
“One recurring issue is the promise he made to deal with the families of victims of violence hoping he will address their issues. He never really did that but generally most Liberians do not think Weah deserves another term”
However, Dr. Kester Onor disagreed with the ambassador saying that the incumbent president’s popularity had not reduced over the years seeing as he was able to surface at the top of the general elections.
He also stated that former vice president Boakai’s alliance with three other major political parties of the nation may not be enough to secure him a win.
“The alliance of three from four contending candidates in the Liberian Presidential Election for Joseph Boakai might amount to nothing as they represent only 3% of the votes. The 6% recorded invalid votes in the general election may decide the outcome. The age of Mr Boakai (78) still places George Weah at an advantage.”
Ambassador Keshi stated that his worry lies on the fact that an additional five year tenor for George Weah may not guarantee that he would come forth with any achievements.
The Liberian electoral system which requires above 50% before one can emerge as winner was recommended by Former Nigerian President, Atiku Abubakar at his speech after he rejected he supreme court judgement announcing Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President of Nigeria, a position he contended for.
Both interviewees agreed that the method might be a good one for the political advancement of Nigeria to achieve free and fair election processes. However, they noted that this would need a proper reform of the Nigerian political system which may prove to be difficult.
“I don’t see who is going to come up with his reform of the Nigerians electoral systems as it is today except something drastic happens.”