Monrovia – Counting six months to the much anticipated October 2017 elections, political parties in the Liberia are building up their political and numerical strengthens, but the case is the reverse for the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) – the country’s biggest opposition bloc, headed by soccer legend George Weah.
The CDC is witnessing an exodus of its staunch members; political observers say it is not a good omen for a party that has emerged second place in two consecutive elections.
On Wednesday, CDC fire burn intellectual Kanio Bai Gbala parted company with the coalition. He officially joined the Liberty Party – one of the opposition parties gaining momentum of late.
Kanio did not come clear with reasons leading to his resignation, but report has it that his departure was due to Weah’s preference of some non-partisans on the party’s ticket for the representative elections over long-time party members.
Some of these individuals are those who supported his 2014 Senatorial bid.
Kanio openly expressed his desire to contest the representative seat for Montserrado County District #3, but does not stand a chance with the CDC.
Current Representative, Bill Tweahway who won on the ruling party’s ticket is said to be Weah’s favorite for that district.
Disenchanted Kanio tendered in his resignation three days after serving his party a letter disclosing his indefinite suspension from the party.
“Kindly consider this note as my formal resignation, with immediate effect, from the Mighty Congress for Democratic Change (CDC)."
"Over the last twelve years of my association with the people’s party, I have come to form many cherished friendships and professional collaborations.
Of course, I will surely miss these relationships."
"But in the business of life and national development, there comes a point when one must chart courses (sometimes painful yet honest) that are consistent with deeply personal beliefs and aspirations."
"And so, I must now say goodbye,” Kanio wrote in his resignation letter.
Kanio noted: “In the final analysis, I believe we all share a similar goal -- the betterment of Mama Liberia. Yet we may sometimes differ on the timeliness of a particular methodology for goal attainment.”
Like Kanio, Artoe Gkornea also exited the CDC. He served the party as the CDC-USA Chairman for the State of Arizona.
He also served the party in the capacities of CDC-USA National Executive Committee Member, Senior Strategist of the Global Fundraising Committee and Co-Chair of Planning and Strategy.
He tendered in his resignation Tuesday.
“Even as I leave the Mighty Congress for Democratic Change, it remains a fact that this institution serves as the bastion of hope for thousands of impoverish Liberians. In fact, this was one of the reasons why I joined the CDC.
However, I no longer see the CDC as the best alternative instrument for the genuine transformation of Liberia at this crucial moment in our nation’s history,” he stated in his resignation letter.
“As a citizen, I owe this decision to my country, and as a father, I owe it to my 2 years-old daughter."
"Tomorrow, I want to look in the face of my beautiful daughter, Harriet, and proudly say ‘I did what I believed was the right thing to do’,” the resignation letter added.
Two weeks ago, CDC-USA Secretary General, Laraamand S. Nyonton resigned from the party. He later announced his membership with the All Liberian Party.
Kanio made a triumphant entry into Liberty Party Wednesday. He was accompanied by many of his supporters – most of who also supported the CDC when he was a member.
He was welcomed by Musa Bility who also crossed over to the CDC from the Unity Party less than six months ago. Bility described himself as the CEO of the Liberty Party.
“I am going to tell the world, I am going to tell Montserrado, I am going to tell Liberia that Kanio is going to play a major part in the election of Cllr. Charles Brumskine,” Bility asserted.
Appreciating his acceptance into the Liberty Party, Kanio iterated his desire to contest Montserrado County District 3. “I don’t see myself as politician.
"I see myself as an activist fighting for social change, so I went to Darius Dillon and told him I’m contemplating certain ideas; foremost amongst these is to represent our people in District #3 and this has come after a very introspective path of soul searching, not because I seek pecuniary or financial succor, but because I believe the politics of Liberia can be different,” he said.
There are wide spread speculations that the CDC’s political leader, Weah, has turned the party into a stock market where financially potent aspirants can pay for the assurance of being selected to contest the district representative positions on the party’s ticket.
To date, it is not clear as to when the party will hold its primaries.
Kanio in his speech was careful not to corroborate this speculation. However, his assertions lead one to wonder in that direction.
“I don’t see politics as a game of winning for financial reasons. As young people in our country, we’ve played cliché with the idea of being a politician,” he said.
Kanio promised to double the dedication he had to the CDC for the Liberty Party.
He urged his new party to remain united on the mantra in which it believes.