Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor’s Ally Rep. Marvin Cole Breaks Ranks with Her, Says She’s “Ungrateful”
Gbarnga – Rep. Marvin Cole of Bong’s District 3 on Tuesday took four minutes of his six-minute speech at a political rally in Gbarnga to bash Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor for her refusal to support the party’s senatorial candidate in Bong County, Henry Yallah.
Howard-Taylor and Cole have formed a strong bond as “mother and son” for the last 17 years.
Cole, who was elected 2017 on the ticket of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), served as Howard-Taylor’s Political Officer for eleven years when Howard-Taylor served as senator of Bong County before becoming vice president in 2017.
Howard-Taylor was instrumental in Cole becoming a lawmaker, and also played a key role in sourcing 100 solar lights for him earlier this year. The provision of the solar lights for Gbarnga was a key campaign promise made by Cole in 2017, a promise that had looked almost impossible before the vice president’s intervention.
Howard-Taylor’s NPP is part of a ruling coalition comprising of President George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and former Speaker Alex Taylor’s Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP).
Howard-Taylor, who is the standard bearer of the NPP, has repeatedly refused to support Yallah’s re-election, despite pleas from members of the Coalition, including President Weah.
She argues that the selection of Yallah to contest on the party’s ticket was flawed, insisting that the NPP was not respected during the primary. “Bong is the stronghold of the NPP and any candidate contesting on the coalition ticket in Bong must be selected by the NPP, not the Congress for Democratic Change which Yallah is a member of,” Howard-Taylor told Radio Gbarnga, a local radio station in the county.
Howard-Taylor’s refusal to support Yallah has reportedly angered the president, and on Tuesday the president didn’t hide his anger when he sent a caveat. “Anyone who is a member of this coalition who won’t support our candidates in these elections will face the consequences,” President Weah said.
“You have to respect the mandate if the party. You can’t bite the hands that feed you,” President Weah said. “You can’t be part of a system and fighting the system.”
‘Disappointed in Jewel’
On Tuesday, Cole enjoined the president and termed as disappointing the vice president’s refusal to support the candidate of the coalition in Bong. “I am very much disappointed in our own vice president. She should be a team player, and not someone who will fight the same system that brought her to where she is,” Cole said.
“This coalition must be protected by every member party no matter your small disagreement. The coalition is bigger than a single individual,” he added.
President Weah reacted to Cole’s remarks by giving him a hug “for being the man of the people who has won his admiration”.
The NPP has accused President Weah of “fighting hard” to divide the party ahead of the 2023 presidential elections. The party’s secretary general in Bong, Amos Barbu, made the statement when Howard-Taylor’s former ally of 27 years and former chairlady of NPP, superintendent Esther Walker, joined the Congress for Democratic Change, citing “personal reasons”.
FrontPageAfrica has gathered from a reliable source that President Weah is “working with officials of the NPP to ensure Cole replaces Howard-Taylor as national chairman of the NPP. When contacted, Cole couldn’t deny or confirm the speculations. “We are politicians. Anything is possible,” he said.
The ongoing rift between President Weah and Howard-Taylor has taken a toll on the Senate bid in Bong, with the two supporting different candidates. Howard-Taylor, FrontPageAfrica has gathered, is supporting the Senate bid of the acting chairman of the Council of Patriots, Menipakei Dumoe.
The NPP local chapter recently endorsed Dumoe’s Senate bid, declaring that “even President Weah can’t stop their candidate from winning”.