Liberia: President Weah, Vice President Taylor Supporting Different Candidates For Bong County Senator
Gbarnga – Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has made it clear that she will not support the re-election of Bong County Senator Henry Yallah, President George Weah’s candidate for the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).
Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]
Howard-Taylor’s National Patriotic Party (NPP) is one of three constituent parties that make up the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.
Yallah was endorsed by three collaborating political parties making up the ruling coalition: (NPP), Congress for Democratic Change (CDC)and the Liberia People’s Democratic Party( LPDP).
Later, the NPP distanced itself from the endorsement, stating that the party had not made a decision on who to support in Bong County.
During a political rally in Yallah’s Kokoyah District in 2018, Howard-Taylor branded him a “snake” and urged county residents not to re-elect him. “Senator Yallah does not deserve re-election,” she said. “He’s is snake who can’t be trusted.”
She told citizens that Yallah has failed to bring any significant dividends to the people who elected him.
She promised to do everything in her power to ensure that Yallah is not re-elected.
Speaking to Radio Gbarnga last week Friday, Howard-Taylor reaffirmed her stance against Yallah’s re-election. “Senator Yallah joined President Weah’s CDC and so it’s up to the party to ensure he gets re-elected,” she said.
“I am not a loose talker. I am not someone who speaks on top of my head. When I made those comments about Senator Yallah I thought about the situation that existed at the time in Bong County and those situations still exist. I maintain those comments about Senator Yallah heading to the December elections,” she said.
Howard-Taylor, however, did not say who will support in the December 8, 2020 election.
Other candidates running for the Bong senatorial seat race are former Liberia Ambassador to the United States of America, Jeremiah Sulunteh, Dorothy Tooman, former head of the Development Education Network Liberia (DEN-L), former president of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), Mohammed Nasser, Dr. Mogana Flomo, Jr, former minister of agriculture, Benedict Sagbeh, former legal advisor of the Forestry Development Authority, Menikpakei Dumoe, acting chairman of Council of Patriots and Deputy House Speaker and District Two lawmaker, Prince Moye.
“I have not decided yet, “she said. “ The day I decide to support a candidate, I will make that public in Gbarnga,” she said.
“I am not a loose talker. I am not someone who speak on top of my head. When I made those comments about Senator Yallah I thought about the situation that existed at the time in Bong County and those situations still exist. I maintain those comments about Senator Yallah heading to the December elections”– Jewel Howard Taylor, Vice President
Asked why she is not supporting Tooman, the lone female aspirant in the race, despite her advocacy for increasing women representation in the Legislature, Howard-Taylor replied: “I want the best candidate for Bong County. If I don’t find that person, I will remain silent.”
Amos Barbu, secretary general of NPP’s Bong County chapter, said the vice president’s decision is based on President Weah’s quest to disintegrate the NPP ahead of the 2023.
He cited the recent resignation by Howard-Taylor’s long time ally, Superintendent Esther Walker, who joined Weah’s CDC last week. “The president cannot be disintegrating our party and expect the vice president to support a candidate of his choice in Bong County,” Barbu said.
Commenting on the resignation of Walker from the NPP, Howard-Taylor said she has no bad feeling towards her friend. “The superintendent and I are not fussing. I strongly believe her decision was politically motivated,” Howard-Taylor said. “I respect her for her decision.”
“If you can break a relationship of 27 years only because of job security, no problem.”
Howard-Taylor said there were no personal issues between she and Walker before the superintendent’s resignation.
Howard-Taylor also took jabs at George Mulbah, former Bong County representative of District Three. She said Mulbah, who has endorsed Moye’s bid for the Senate, is “morally bankrupt.”
He lacks the political influence in the county to campaign for anyone running for the Senatorial seat. “There are people who have lost respect among residents of the county, “she said. “Selecting those individuals to spearhead your campaigns would be detrimental to your ambition,” she said. George Mulbah is one such people. He does not have the integrity to influence decision in Bong County politics.”
Mulbah responded to the vice president’s comments in a live Facebook post on July 25.
He said Howard-Taylor was speaking out of frustration because of his current stance against the vice president in the ongoing internal wrangling within the NPP.