The Significance Of Choosing A Candidate And The Danger Of Being Neutral

By Zack G. W. Sharpe, III

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
November 5, 2005


I am a member of Liberty Party and we supported a candidate for the presidency of Liberia because we believe he was the right man with great vision and with whom we were to change the political landscape in Liberia.

During the campaign season, we worked very hard to have him elected because we felt he was the best candidate to govern Liberia and still feel the same today. Unfortunately for me and many Liberians, our candidate did not make it to the runoff. This decision by most Liberians has shown us that democracy doesn’t always give you the best or most competent candidate for an elected position.

Now there are two candidates in the final round and the question is: whom do we choose to lead us? Should we remain neutral or choose one of the two candidates? As a patriotic Liberian, it is my responsibility to do what I believe is in the best interest of my country, its people and future.

This is a critical time in the history of Liberia and I believe decisions we make today will improve the conditions of our people, make conditions worse, and take us back to Liberia to live in peace or keep us in the Diasporas or maybe in exile for life.

It is my opinion that every Liberian has an obligation to select the better candidate of the two for the future of our country. I respect the opinion of every Liberian to select one of the two candidates on November 8, 2005 or remain neutral. However, I believe it is incumbent upon all patriotic Liberians who are registered to vote to exercise his or her constitutional right by going to vote for the better or more qualified candidate of the two. If those who are capable of voting sit by, hold their votes and allow the wrong candidate to win, history will judge them harshly.

Horace Mann once said" Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen but give us the determination to make the right things happen. "Similarly Kwame Nkrumah also said, "We have before us not only an opportunity but an historic duty. It is in our hands to join our strength, taking sustenance from our diversity, honoring our rich and varied tradition and culture but acting together for the protection and benefit of all".

One of the two candidates in the race will be elected on Tuesday, November 8, 2005. The candidate that will be elected on Election Day will be responsible to resurrect a nation that has been destroyed by over 14 years of civil war. In my opinion, this leader should have the capacity to make sound decision that will move our nation in the direction of economic growth and prosperity. He or she should have great experience in the art of statecraft and understand the complexities involve in running a political institution or nation like Liberia. Our leader must be capable of dealing with not only Liberians but members of the international community. Given the brain drain in Liberia, this leader must be capable of using the merit system in recruiting some of the best or most competent professional Liberians in and outside of Liberia who will help in the reconstruction process and be on par with technocrats in Africa and around the world.

Of the two candidates in the race, it is my opinion that Mrs. Ellen Sirleaf is the most competent and qualified candidate to lead Liberia.

I was not a supporter of Mrs. Sirleaf in the October presidential election but my conscience tells me that the right thing to do this time is to endorse Ellen for the future of our country and not remain neutral. Whether we disagree with Mrs. Sirleaf on issues in the past or present, we should not allow these differences to override our sense of judgment and allow Liberia to become worse then what she is today by not supporting Mrs. Sirleaf. We should remember Liberia is bigger then every one of us. The interest of our people or nation is paramount. Every Liberian with love for Liberia should endorse Mrs. Sirleaf. Personally, I have looked at both the negative and the positive attributes of Mrs. Sirleaf and discovered that the positive is by far more then the negative and those positive attributes of Mrs. Sirleaf will make her a better leader then her present opponent.

As Liberian voters go to the polls on Tuesday November 8, 2005, I want to remind them that the key to the future of Liberia lies in their hands and if they fail to open the door by voting for Mrs. Ellen Sirleaf, Liberia will remain in darkness for a long time; therefore, I am calling on all Liberians with vision and love for Liberia to vote for Mrs. Sirleaf on Election day. Those who chose to remain neural or not to vote, I am appealing to them to please endorse Mrs. Sirleaf or vote for her on Election Day for the future of Liberia and our children.

About the Author: Mr. Zack G. W. Sharpe, III is an Accountant in the State of Rhode Island, USA and a member of Liberty Party who Standard Bearer came third in the first presidential election on October 11, 2005. he can be reached at