Monrovia – When George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change took the bold decision to form a political marriage with the remnants of former President Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Party (NPP), and former Speaker Alexander Tyler’s Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) last year, some political observers predicted that despite the baggage, the collaboration brought to the table, the vote-rich Bong and Western belt factors could propel the party to state power.
“I don’t know of any promises that were made to anyone; but there are still some 212 jobs left to be filled.
It is true that our partisans have been out of job for more than ten years but I didn’t get into this for a job. My name is more than any cabinet position.
What I do have a problem with is a small group of people thinking that they can sit in a small office and pretend to know everybody and make appointments; this is wrong. I have raised this at the highest possible level.
The fact of the matter is, there is a bottleneck and that bottleneck has to be addressed very quickly before the President ends up looking ugly” – Chief Cyril Allen, Chairman Emeritus, National Patriotic Party
Now just days after achieving what it set out to do, visible strains appear to be emerging signalling that all is not well within the coalition
In the past few days, multiple sources have confided to FrontPageAfrica that the marriage which adopted the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is cracking over of all things, the distribution and allocation of jobs.
FrontPageAfrica has learned that President Weah and his Vice President, Jewel Howard- Taylor are having disagreements over job allocations.
The influential former Bong Senator, credited with delivering the former stronghold of her former husband, Charles Taylor to Weah, has been struggling to secure Cabinet slots for she and the NPP.
To date only three slots have been allocated to the NPP, Yvette Freeman, nominated as Deputy Minister of Commerce for Administration, the Vice President’s sister, Norwu Howard-Wesson and Esther Walker, Superintendent of Bong County.
In contrast, some NPP stalwarts have cited the retention of several members of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led government in the new administration as a slap in the face of those who helped lead the Coalition to victory.
Additionally, the LPDP has to date only one slot allocated to them with the appointment of former Representative Moses Kollie as Minister-designate of Labor.
Chief Cyril Allen, Chairman Emeritus of the NPP, when contacted by FrontPageAfrica Wednesday said he was not aware of any promises made for jobs but did acknowledge dissatisfaction amongst some partisans disenchanted over the pace of the process.
Said Chief Allen: “I don’t know of any promises that were made but there are still some 212 jobs left to be filled."
"It is true that our partisans have been out of job for more than 10 years but I didn’t get into this for a job. My name is more than any Cabinet position."
"What I do have a problem with is a small group of people thinking that they can sit in a small office and pretend to know everybody and make appointments."
"This is wrong. I have raised this at the highest possible level."
"The fact of the matter is, there is a bottleneck and that bottleneck has to be addressed very quickly before the President ends up looking ugly.”
“I’m always critical of things but the process is ongoing. I don’t think there was any agreement."
"Yes, NPP folks are enraged but we are encouraging partisans to submit their names to the Vice President but we cannot and I won’t be part of a process that bulldozes the President."
"No promises were made to anyone for jobs. But there is not a broad committee set up to scrutinize resumes and giving the President opportunity to make the right decisions.”
Mergers are not new to Liberian politics but are often short-lived over distribution of jobs.
Following the 2009 merger amongst former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's Unity Party (UP), the Liberia Action Party (LAP) and the Liberia Unification Party (LUP), the move was trumpeted as a crowning moment which brought together three parties whose founding fathers were at the foundation of multi-party democracy in Liberia.
The UP, LAP, and LUP were at the heart of the political process in 1984 and formed the country's first ever political merger.
The parties' founding fathers, the late Dr. Edward Kessely of the Unity Party, the late Gabriel William Kpolleh of the Liberia Unification Party and the late Jackson F. Doe of the Liberia Action Party, formed the famous 'Grand Coalition' which contested the 1985 presidential elections against the then ruling National Democratic Party of Liberia of former President Samuel Doe.
The 2011 presidential and legislative elections which saw Sirleaf win a second term, was followed by yet another disagreement over jobs as a reported list from then party chairman Cllr. Sherman failed to see the light of day.
The NPP former chair also frowned on reports that some partisans of the CDC have been barging into offices and physically removing civil service appointees from their offices.
“I don’t want to be part of a process where people are going into offices and having them removed.”
Meanwhile, Chief Allen has called for the recusal of Senator Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman and Senator Morris Saytumah from the confirmation process of President Weah’s nominee for Attorney General.
The NPP Chairman Emeritus said the fact that both Sherman and Saytumah have been accused in the Global Witness bribery saga is enough to warrant their recusal.
“There’s a big bone of contention. Varney Sherman and Morris Saytumah should remove themselves from the process.”