Monrovia – A senior member and strategist of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Prof. Wilson Tarpeh, says the party cannot confirm nor deny whether or not its leader, Senator George Weah, had been in communication with former President Charles Taylor, as alleged by former chief of investigations for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone, Allan White.
“We cannot confirm nor deny that such a discussion may have taken place. I’m sure Mr. White will have his evidence to prove that. It still remains an allegation that we cannot confirm nor deny.
“What we can say is that the Congress for Democratic Change has been in discussion with a number of opposition political parties to form an alliance or a coalition for the purpose of the ensuing 2017 election” – Wilson Tarpeh
Speaking to the Voice of America Monday, Prof. Tarpeh said the party hopes that White would prove the allegation.
White in an interview with the VOA Peter Clottey a week ago said - “The allegations and sourced information that I’m receiving is that Charles Taylor, the former President – indicted and convicted war criminal for his actions in Sierra Leone and the leader of the RUF – is interfering with the elections.
He’s been in discussion with Senator George Weah who recently signed an agreement to join forces with Jewel Taylor – Taylor’s former wife – to support seeking the presidency and the Vice presidency. George will be at the top of the ticket.
“There are also other allegations that when he [Taylor] left, there were millions of dollars that were buried and left behind so whoever gets elected and they seek to get his sentenced reduced and to get him back in Liberia will be worth that while.”
However, the CDC steward told VOA, “We cannot confirm nor deny that such a discussion may have taken place. I’m sure Mr. White will have his evidence to prove that. It still remains an allegation that we cannot confirm nor deny.
What we can say is that the Congress for Democratic Change has been in discussion with a number of opposition political parties to form an alliance or a coalition for the purpose of the ensuing 2017 election.”
Tarpeh debunked allegation that the Congress for Democratic Change – Senator Weah’s original party – signed an agreement with Taylor’s former wife, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) which was formed by the former President.
Rather, he said the Congress for Democratic Change signed an agreement with the NPP and the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) to form an alliance or a coalition in respect to the 2017 elections.
“According to an agreement signed, the Congress for Democratic Change, is supposed to produce the standard bearer and the standard bearer will have to pick his Vice President standard bearer who will not come from the Congress for Democratic Change. So, there is no agreement we are aware of signed with Senator Jewel Howard Taylor as an individual,” Tarpeh said.
According to Tarpeh, contrary to White’s allegation that part of Taylor’s plan in the ongoing discussion with Senator Weah is to ensure, after winning the 2017 election, that there would be no establishment of special war and economic crimes court in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Congress for Democratic Change has always been in support of restorative and retributive justice as recommended by the Truth & Reconciliation Report.
Acarous Gray Denies Outrightly
While Tarpeh was unable to rule out the possibility of such conversation, former Secretary General of the party, Moses Acarous Gray who now represents Montserrado County District #8 at the House, in a reaction through FrontPageAfria said White’s allegation was “cash driven.”
“George Weah at no point discussed with Taylor to abort the establishment of a war crimes court for Liberia. Under our Constitution, courts are established by the Legislature and not the President so Mr. White has to be taught our Constitution,” he said. According to Gray, the CDC was fully aware that Taylor’s calls are monitored by international partners and would “dare not undermine the interest of Liberia.
Gray told FrontPageAfrica: “White is a lobbyist who speaks in defense of cash, so I am inclined to believe that both Urey and Boakai who have never called for the establishment of war crimes Court may be using him for some propagandistic attacks on the winnable Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
“You can recall that opponents in 2011 Runoff Election shied away from a support to us because it was reported that Weah had granted an interview in Europe calling for an attack on the culture of impunity.
Moreover, it's laughable to say Urey will want a war or economic crimes court when it is alleged that he is part of war mongering and economic abuses in Liberia. “Interestingly, TRC report calling for a war crimes court is on the desk of the presidency and even a suggested bill for establishing the war crimes court was submitted to the presidency by the TRC which is to form part of the presidency legislative agenda for Liberia. “As a legislator I openly throw out a challenge to VP Boakai to use his executive leverage that will ensure submission of the bill to the current Senate he presides over. “Allen White must now provide documentary pieces of evidence to the world that Vice President Boakai and Presidential Hopeful Urey- a product of the National Patriotic Front (NPFL) led by former President Taylor- are in support of establishing a war crimes court for Liberia.”