Less than two weeks to the special senatorial election on December 8,the governing Coalition for Democratic Change is going all out to reclaim Montserrado County, once its stronghold. Several stalwarts and leaders of the CDC are gambling their jobs, if they lost the election with chairperson Mulbah Morlu taking the lead.
Morlu offers his chairmanship for grab if the election in Montserrado County does not go the way of the ruling establishment.
He vowed to resign if incumbent Senator Abraham Darious Dillon, who is contesting on the ticket of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties, scored second victory at the ballot box against the CDC.
Senator Dillon is battling incumbent Representative Thomas Fallah of the ruling Coalition for the senatorial seat of Montserrado County.
Morlu’s challenge did not last long when both Montserrado County Representatives Acarous Moses Gray and Abu Bana Kamara, all of the ruling establishment similarly said they would resign if Dillon emerged victorious again.
As though not enough, CDC’s incumbent Senator for Montserrado County, Saah Joseph, has said if Dillon wins, he would not seek re-election in 2023.
Stalwarts of the ruling the Coalition,its governing council, executives, national leadership, including standard bearer, President George Manneh Weah are designing all available political strategies to reclaim the county that has been under its control until last years when the opposition snatched it away unbelievably.
President Weah has issued a strong mandate to partisans that Montserrado and Grand Bassa counties must be reclaimed all cost in December.
If this works in their favor, the Coalition with support from its constituent parties would stand a greater chance of being elected for second term in 2023.
Recent voting statistics have shown that a political party that wins Montserrado County is very close to winning the presidency or taking second place at the poll.
Coalition candidate Thomas Fallah of Montserrado County Electoral District #5 is currently serving third consecutive term. He also enjoys unflinching support of the former ruling National Patriotic Party of jailed ex-president Charles Taylor, the Liberian Democratic People Party of former Speaker Alex Tyler, and President Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change.
Fallah presides over the Ways, Means, Finance and Budget Committee of the House of Representatives and also vice chairperson for operations within the ruling party.
On the other side, incumbent Dillon enjoys support of the former ruling Unity Party, the Liberty Party of late presidential candidate Charles Walker Brumskine, the Alternative National Congress of businessman-turned politician Alexander Benedict Cummings and the All Liberian Party of businessman Benoni Urey, respectively.
He has styled himself as the ‘light’ of the Liberian Senate. Dillon’s popularity swelled when he publicly declared his salary, allowance and other benefits immediately upon taking office, the first ever by any of the 30 senators on Capitol Hill.
He also broke the news of senators receiving US$6,500 each as operational funds immediately after they endorsed the State of Emergency declared by President Weah in a joint resolution in April to fight the coronavirus.
The money, totaling US$195,000, was dished out among senators at a time nurses and other health workers leading the Covid-19 fight were crying for incentives and personal protective equipment or PPEs.
Though Dillon said the amount was operational funds, Senator Prince Johnson of Nimba County strongly debunked the Montserrado County Senator when he revealed on a live talk show that the money instead, was lobbying fee from the executive for recalling senators from their Easter Break.
However, Senator George Tengbeh of Lofa County later stated that the amount was understated by Dillon, saying, they actually received US$8,000 each.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne