Report reaching this paper indicates that some influential players within the international community are recommending for the exclusion of the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC headed by Senator George MannehWeah and the Standard Bearer of the governing Unity Party, Vice President Joseph NyumahBoakai from the pending elections in October.
Making the disclosure to this paper on Tuesday, February 21, at his Capitol Building office, Senator H. Dan Morais of Maryland County said, credible information he had received from some international partners is that there’s a strong lobbying ongoing within international cycle to ban the participation of the CDC on grounds that it is consistently seeking pieces of advice and strategies from detained former President Charles Taylor, who is reportedly melting in Liberian politics.
Senator Morais claimed to have been in a meeting, but did not say where and when the discussion came about that the CDC and Vice President Boakai should not participate in the October’s elections.
He added that recent reports of Taylor, who is serving 50 years of incarceration in the United Kingdom for aiding and abetting RUF rebels in Sierra Leone, urging supporters in Liberia to return to base ahead of the October 10 race, is the main reason behind the quest to ban the CDC adding; “powerful people within the international cycle are not taking that statement lightly.”
On the question of Vice President Boakai, Morais indicated that influential individuals are arguing that the Liberian vice president is old and weak to handle the already fragile state that had suffered 14 years of civil crisis.
He noted that there are arguments that the UP standard bearer may not be well positioned to handle tension or manage the affairs of state.
However, Senator Morais, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said during his meeting with Diasporas-based influential individuals, they strongly believe excluding both the CDC and Vice President Boakai could be catastrophic for the electoral process.
According to him, they said any attempt for anybody to try anything like stopping a political institution like the Coalition for Democratic Change with youthful population would lead to another thing that Liberians may not be pleased with.
The Maryland Senator, who is a strong stalwart of Taylor’s National Patriotic Party, but later pledged his support to Vice President Boakai, added that while he does not believe Senators George Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor could make a perfect president and vice president respectively, it is prudent to maintain an open democratic space for every political institution to participate.
He added that international forces interfering in Liberian local politics is something that should be resisted by all Liberians or else, the democratic space will be of no used.
Commenting on the impression about the Vice President, he said it is tormenting for anyone to think that Vice President Boakai is weak to manage Liberia.
He then called on the international community to engage Mr. Taylor as an individual rather than branding those who worked with him during his administration, saying collective guilt has haunted members of the ex-ruling NPP and associates of Mr. Taylor.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne