Liberia: CPP vs. COP – Egos Collide as rival opposition Groups Compete for Numerical Edge


MOMENTS AFTER the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) announced plans to hold a sustained nationwide protest, commencing Wednesday, October 28, 2020, the leader of the Council of Patriots, Mr. Henry Costa announced that the pressure group is also planning to stage a protest of its own.

MR. COSTA WROTE: “Don’t let them fool you. It is the CoP they’re afraid of. We will still protest beginning November 16. We named 10 reasons for our protest. You have done just one, 9 more to go.”

IN A STATEMENT THURSDAY, the CPP said its protest will continue until demands which include but are not limited to cleaning the Voter Roll, cancelling and properly re-doing the just ended fraudulent voter roll update, and other issues of national concern affecting the lives of our people, are addressed.

THE CPP says its decision comes at a time when the country is on a path of imminent decay as our systems fail us. “We cannot overemphasize the importance of having free, fair and credible elections. We cannot overemphasize the importance of protecting your votes and ensuring that your voices are heard at the ballot box. A fraudulent and rigged election could be detrimental to our peace and stability.”

WHILE THE collaborating opposition political parties say it has begun engaging other political parties, pressure groups, civil society organizations, etc to join its quest to protect votes and fight for free, fair and transparent elections, it is becoming apparently clear that the opposition community is not holding together as they should.

IN ITS statement Thursday, the COP announced a nationwide nonstop peaceful protest beginning on Monday, November 16, 2020 which will continue until burning concerns are addressed by the Weah administration.

SADLY, THE THIRST for greed and ego is clouding the judgment of many clamoring for change in a nation that has a rugged, but checkered history of opposition alliances.

THE ORGANIZATION LISTS a 12-count explanation for its protests, that includes: The unresolved 25 million dollar mop-up scandal; the government’s failure to pay health care workers and address their grave concerns; the fraudulent just-ended voter roll update exercise and its implications on the pending senatorial elections; The wave of violence against peaceful citizens by CDC thugs and state security actors; The worsening economic crisis in the country and its accompanying hardship on the lives of Liberians with no mitigating efforts by the government; The unexplained failure of the much heralded COVID-19 stimulus package for which 50 million dollars was borrowed from the IMF; The consistent abuse of our constitution and disregard for the rule of law; The violation and abuse of our national budget law led by Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah; The increase by up to 100% or more in the cost of voice call and data services thereby reducing access to these services by vast majority of Liberians; And finally; the recent gravely disturbing scandal of government officials selling our passports and conferring upon anyone who can afford to pay, our prestigious diplomatic portfolios, on an industrial scale.

THE DECISION TO HOLD two separate protests is a step back from the successful formula that made the June 7 2019 protest successful.

BOTH THE CPP AND THE COP at the time were united in their voice on what they wanted to achieve.

THIS TIME AROUND, IT APPEARS, one group is looking to claim numerical edge over the other.

A POST from Mulbah K. Yorgbor Jr., Secretary General of the COP, on Oct. 1, 2020, summed up the burning issue sparking a divide between the CPP and the COP.

YORGBOR WROTE: “CPP can barely assemble 500 people because  they don’t want to get dirty. When(not if) Weah steals the elections in December, what will you do? Y’all sit down there.”

BOTH YORGBOR AND MR. COSTA has labeled the CPP as weak and claiming glory that the COP is a better alternative for Liberia.

 AT A TIME WHEN the opposition should together, many political observers fear, the two groups are miles apart, going in to separate directions.

BESIDES THE OBVIOUS issues of trying to claim the numerical edge, the CPP itself is engulfed in a serious power struggle and undermining amongst the four leaders.

EVEN MORE TROUBLING is the fact that the four parties cannot decide on whether or not to overwhelmingly support candidates running on the four-party collaboration ticket

ADDITIONALLY, TROUBLE is also brewing in District No. 9, where Mr. Fubbi Henries of the Alternative National Congress(ANC) appears to be running on his own as all four parties within the collaboration are said to be putting forth candidates eventhough Mr. Henries finished second to the late Munah Pelham Youngblood in the 2017 legislative elections.

MR. HENRIES POSTED on his Facebook page Thursday: “No CPP Candidate. I will be on the Ballot Paper. In everything give thanks. All things happen for the good of those who believe in the Lord. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Optimistic but not complacent! The Straw the broke the Camel’s back.”

IT SEEMS ALSO that the opposition has failed to grasp the essence of holding together. That failure led to key losses in special elections in District No. 15, District No. 13 and races in Grand Cape Mount County.

THE FACT of the matter is that everyone is trying to claim that they are better than the other; others are simply trying to show that the success of June 7 was due to their own doing and not because the four political parties came together and bought the idea of unity.

NOW IT APPEARS that things are slowly disintegrating because of a senseless and endless power play – to the opposition’s own detriment.

FORMER PRESIDENT ELLEN Johnson-Sirleaf once said that no one political party or group can win on its own in Liberia – and she was right.

IF THE COP insists on claiming numerical advantage and consistently trying to prove that it is the strongest amongst all the opposition, it is sowing a dangerous seed of discontent that could hurt any effort to put up a strong fight against the incumbent Coalition for Democratic Change government.

SADLY, THE THIRST for greed and ego is clouding the judgment of many clamoring for change in a nation that has a rugged, but checkered history of opposition alliances.

AS THE CLOCK ticks on the December 8, 2020 Senatorial Midterm elections, the opposition appears to be running out of options – and the window of opportunity to score big victories could be closing on a group of disgruntled and egotistic personalities putting self-interests above the big picture.