Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia's Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has said that the mushrooming of political parties in the country is no indicator of flourishing democracy in Liberia but rather the symptom of lack of societal cohesion.">

"Mushrooming of Political Parties: Symptom of Lack of Societal Cohesion," Vice President Boakai

Tuesday, 2nd March 2010
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia's Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has said that the mushrooming of political parties in the country is no indicator of flourishing democracy in Liberia but rather the symptom of lack of societal cohesion.

Vice President Boakai said that political parties ought to be institutions that serve long-term goals, but noted that experience has shown that in Liberia, the opposite is true. He said Liberia now has political parties which best can be described as "election parties"
and at worst "ghost political parties because immediately after election, they vanish into oblivion only to resurrect during another electioneering process".

Vice President Boakai made the statement Saturday at the national convention of the Liberia Action Party (LAP) held at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Stadium in Paynesville.

He said the LAP convention should symbolize that the three political parties are on an irreversible course of actualizing the dreams of their founding fathers, Edward Binyah Kesselly of Unity Party, Jackson Fiah Doe of the Liberia Action Party and Gabriel William Kpolleh of Liberia Unification Party.

Ambassador Boakai said these politicians were the true patriarchs and visionaries who illuminated the unbending aspirations of the Liberian people for multi-party democratic rule.

He said political parties now have the duty to ensure a healthy competition in our political dialogue so that politicians do not bow to the temptation of allowing themselves to be fragmented along sectarian and other lines.

The Vice President said the LAP convention further demonstrates the sincerity of the merger of three sisterly political parties that have collaborated on key issues of national concern over the years, under the banner of the "Grand Coalition" but fell short of completing the process.

Presenting the case of merger with the Unity Party and the Liberia Unification Party, the Liberia Action Party (LAP) National Chairman D.
Sheba Brown said that a reduction in the number of political parties will assist in reducing political tension and consolidating the hard won peace, and reconciliation, thereby energizing the country for post conflict reconstruction , economic growth and development.

Chairman Brown said most of the parties are built around individual personalities and lack broad-based support. "Most are weak in structures, lack logistics, and are faced with severe financial constraints. Most cannot maintain office. Most are similar in their vision for a better Liberia," the LAP Chairman said.

She said many weak and divided political parties can neither reconcile our people, nor enhance our democracy, nor energize our development agenda.

To the contrary, Chairman Brown said "they place burden on the political system since they must all be carried on the ballot for every general and presidential elections although the cost of carrying them cannot be justified by the number of votes they obtain."