Can CDC Do Things Differently? Primary Woes Loom Ahead of 2017 Elections


The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has, too often, touted itself as the next government-in-waiting and its lecture about transparency and accountability is commonplace but a potential crisis, over an uncertainty about primaries, is gradually looming.

And a letter to chairman Nathaniel Farlo McGill, which was signed by six aspirants on January 25, have pointed to a potential instability in the coalition and leaves one to wonder whether the CDC can do things differently.

Those who signed the letter were Paulita Wie of District #9, Atty. Kanio Bai Gbala, District #3, Ishmael Sheriff of District #8, Dixon W. Seboe and Archie I. Sannor of District #16 and Sabah Jomah of District #7.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) released its calendar of events last year.

According to the timetable, the final list of candidates will be published on July 31 but the aspirants don’t know when the CDC will hold its primaries nationwide.

“Consistent with democratic political principles and regulations promulgated by NEC, we are kindly praying your good offices to inform us when (an exact date) the responsible authority within the coalition plans to organize democratic primaries that will lead to the election of candidates to represent the coalition in the ensuing legislative elections.

“Also we pray your good offices to kindly furnish us with associated guidelines that will govern this process to ensure that it is free, fair, transparent and consistent with national electoral best practices.

“Hon. Chairman, we solemnly believe that the 2017 elections will be hard fought and the masses victory will not only be secured through the force of the primary ticket but also through the support and mobilization of key legislative aspirants in critical district,” they said while hoping for a response at the end of January.

CDC political leader and Montserrado County senator, George Weah, selected Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor (NPP, Bong County) on January 21 as his running mate for the presidential election.

Weah raised concerns about his decision to head the ticket, suggesting that he had already tried running second before.

“During the 2011 presidential elections, I set aside my ego despite the overwhelming calls of the vast majority of Liberians that I contest for the presidency. Instead, I humbly allow the party to choose another person as its standard bearer to take on the mantle to head our movement.

“In this same spirit of humanity, love and wisdom I now loudly and clearly call on many persons – men and women who are aspiring to be president to follow the example and set aside their egos,” he said.

Weah said a CDC-led government will be built on six agenda: job creation; affordable health care; free-compulsory and quality education for all; quality roads, including farm-to-market and agriculture through the support of industrialized farming.

He added that his government will also focus on eight pillars: reconciliation; employment and youth development; health and education; economic revitalization; justice and security; gender and related issues and poverty eradication.

But the political stability of the coalition, which is made-up of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), National Patriotic Party (NPP) and Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP), could be on thread and its fabulous agenda may evaporate in thin air if the hullabaloo about the primaries is not resolved with the speed of light.  

Guest Contributor