Monrovia – It is no secret within the Coalition of Democratic Change that the fate of Munah Pelham Youngblood is hanging in the balance.
Report by Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected]
So, when the party, built by football legend George Weah, embarks on its widely-anticipated upcoming primaries, all eyes will be on which incumbent will likely get the boot and which districts could see new faces.
One district drawing particular reference is the hotly-contested District Nine currently occupied by Rep. Munah Pelham Youngblood.
Youngblood is facing challenges from several new aspirants led by Paulita Wie, the daughter of late broadcast journalist Paul Allen Wie.
Wie, who has been making some visible inroads in the district, is one of a reported seventeen candidates looking to replace Youngblood.”
“Things reportedly got heated between the pair at a recent party gathering when Wie took offense to YRep. oungblood referring to herself as the most intellectual member of the party.
The district has already changed representatives twice since the 2005 legislative elections. Kettehkumeh Murray won the seat in 2005 and in 2011, the now incumbent Youngblood.
Wie says she is committed to changing the dynamics of the district if she is successful in the primaries because many in the area, particularly in Lakpazee are still unhappy about what they are seeing from their current leaders.
“There are a lot of problems here – lack of safe drinking water, consistent electricity and roads. Some marketers in Lakpazee Community continue to complain that for the past 11 years they have been squatting. For a high-profile community like ours, not having a market is not a good thing,” the candidate told FrontPageAfrica recently.
Wie who has been involved in numerous interventions in the area decries the lack of basic recreation centers for children to keep them busy after school or at least engaged speaks to the massive needs of the community.
“There are no libraries or computer schools, unemployment and the right person to address these concerns.”
But Wie, like many of those looking to contest, transparency and fair play in the process is the most important aspect of their concerns.
The party has already seen a number of defections in recent weeks as many who were denied the opportunity to contest in key races chose to abandon the CDC and try their luck elsewhere.
Among the defections, Mr. Kanio Bai Bala who crossed carpet to the Liberty Party had expressed interest in contesting in District-3 where Representative Bill Twehway is the incumbent.
Rep.Twehway, formerly with the ruling Unity Party supported the party’s political leader, George Weah in his senatorial victory and party insiders say, it was a promise Weah made to Twehway that he would run uncontested in his re-election bid, thus putting Gbala out of play.
Twehway told reporters in February that he would be seeking his re-election bid as a member of CDC, explaining that despite his affiliation with the ruling Unity Party (UP) over the years, the CDC has always been his party.
The Montserrado County lawmaker asserted that he is a strong member of the CDC, and nothing will stop him from turning his back on the party.
Archie Sarnnoh who had wished to contest on the CDC’s ticket in District 16 but didn’t see his way through a joined Simeon Freeman’s Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), hoping to make his way on the that party’s ticket.
It is such concerns that aspirants like Wie are taking precautions. In her letter seeking to contest, Ms. Wie said reminded the party’s leadership of her service to the party.
“I am a staunch member of the Congress for Democratic Change and serving as the coordinator for CDC professionals, and have resided in the airfield for over twelve years.”
“I am a patriotic and hardworking business woman for the past ten years with proven humanitarian track records, great academic credentials and have provided numerous contributions and services to assist, transform and impact the lives of the people in District 9, my political party and Liberia at large.”
She added: “I pray that the party sees reason to allow me participate and exercise my constitutional right in a democratic process which will enable me advocate and represent the people of District 9 at the National Legislature for positive change.
As part of the requirements, she has already paid her primary registration fees of one thousand, two hundred and fifty United States dollars(1,250) as she pleaded for a free and transparent process.
“I hereby apply 9 as a female representative aspirant of District 9, Montserrado County and deem it very expedient to contest in a free and transparent primary process of the party.”
“My decision was prompted as a result of numerous calls and petitions from district dwellers for change in the National Legislature, in terms of appropriate and impactful representation.”
Last week, during a visit to the Christ Mission Academy where she has several students on scholarship, Ms. Wie paid homage to Mother Lucia Brent who togethered with her husband, have been working tirelessly to buttress Government’s effort with education in the community.
“Most parents want to send their children to school, but cannot afford it.”
“As CEO of Helping Impact Liberia & Representative of District 9, Montserrado County, I had to contribute in my little weak ways to help those parents pay their children school fees. I visited the school to check on the 42 students that are on my scholarship.”
“Thank God for the hardworking teachers & brilliant students that listened to me as I encouraged them to stay focus in school despite the challenges. Little is much when God is in it,” she lamented in a post on her Facebook page last week.