Liberia: NPP Expresses Dismay over Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change Continued Disregard of Coalition Members

Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor is the Political Leader of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) which is a constituent member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change

MONROVIA –The second largest constituent party of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, the National Patriotic Party (NPP) has challenged the decision of the Coalition not to field a candidate in the upcoming By-election in Nimba County Electoral District #1.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the NPP, through its national chairman, Maryland County Senator James P. Biney said the decision was unilaterally made by the Congress for Democratic Change; in total disregard to the other two constituent members, the NPP and the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP).

The NPP said the decision was unfortunate, and owing to the importance it attaches to the By-election, it was fielding a candidate.

“Considering the importance the NPP attaches to the by-election, the NPP directs its Nimba County political machinery to get totally involved in the support of partisan Sam Brown,” the NPP said in the statement.

The NPP also called on all of its partisans and supporters in Nimba District #1 and the entire county to rally their support behind Mr. Brown.

The NPP claimed that its National Executive Council convened on October 2, 2021 and endorsed the candidature of partisan Sam Brown. Mr. Brown, a prominent business man in Nimba, ran in the district in 2017and accumulated the second highest votes; behind then incumbent Representative Jeremiah Kpan Koung. The seat is now up for grab again for following the election of Mr. Koung as Senator of Nimba County in the 2020 mid-term election.

Simmering Internal Wrangling

In 2017, the three parties CDC, NPP and LPDP formed a political marriage, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). Duped the ‘Grand Coalition’, the party went on the achieve a massive victory.

Despite some behind-the-scene internal wrangling, the coalition, for the past three years, has somehow been smoothly running its affairs through its Governing Council, the highest decision making body of the collaboration which comprises top officials of the three constituent parties.

But it appears the center is no longer holding, as two of its constituent members are blaming the Congress for Democratic Change of President George Weah as its political leader and chaired by Mulbah Morlu of running the coalition unilaterally.

The NPP, guided by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor is the latest to break silence. The NPP, raising several qualms in the statement said, since victory was achieved under the stewardship of the Governing Council, the Congress for Democratic Change has rendered the Council ‘functionally immaterial’.

“The Congress (of Democratic Change) has since assumed a unilateral role in determining the government’s architecture. The other two parties play no major role in decisions that affect the governance of country. This is certainly not the spirit with which the coalition was formed,” the party said.

The NPP said the Congress made similar decision during the 2020 Special Senatorial Election when it acted against the advice of the two constituent parties to field a set of incumbent Senators instead of a primary. The result, the NPP said produced a disastrous political consequence for the coalition.

Tyler’s LPDP Also Not Happy

Meanwhile, the NPP complaint comes on the back of similar qualms raised by the other constituent member, the LPDP. Earlier this week, the party accused the Congress for Democratic Change of unilaterally deciding not to field a candidate in the pending by-election in Bomi.

The LPDP said it has decided to support its partisan, Obediah J. Varney in the race to fill the vacant seat left in the wake of the election of Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe. Varney contested for the Representative seat in 2017 and came second to Snowe. 

The Party, in a statement signed by its political leader and former House Speaker J. Alex Tyler said, it will no longer sit idly and allow decisions that affect the coalition to be unilaterally taken by any single party, whether it is the Congress for Democratic Change, or the National Patriotic Party and then sleep on it all in the name of exercising maturity.

Just like the Congress for Democratic Change had been absolute decision in Montserrado County [until last December Special Senatorial Election] and the National Patriotic Party in Bong County, the LPDP said they should be left with whatever decision is taken in Bomi County and the Western part of Liberia.

“Without belaboring on this issue, we think this is disingenuous, disrespectful and a total disregard to our institution, the LPDP, considering all the processes and actions leading to the so-called decision,” the party said in a statement issued earlier this week.

“We believe that the action of not consulting the LPDP in the Bomi County issue and the process leading to the selection of other candidates in the upcoming by-election in the other three counties like Nimba, Bong, and Grand Gedeh by the Congress for Democratic Change is unilateral, undemocratic, completely out of scope and a departure from the spirit with which the Coalition was formed, leading to a victory.”