ANC, UP face off
-As coalition cracks
One of the four collaborating opposition political parties is unhappy about the selection process of candidates for election, accusing the former ruling Unity Party of dominance.The collaborating parties include: the former ruling Unity Party (UP), Liberty Party (LP), the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the All Liberian Party (ALP).
But the ANC headed by former corporate executive Alexander Cumming says to the UP that enough is enough and never will it give in again to the process of selecting or naming candidates to vie for legislative seats.
ANC national secretary general Aloysius Toe, in an interview with the NewDawn Wednesday, September 11, at the party headquarters in Monrovia, claims the Unity Party is attempting to take all legislative seats by unilaterally putting forth candidates in what supposed to be a consensus without according respect to other members of the collaboration.
He explains that the UP currently has a candidate for the pending senatorial by-election in Grand Cape Mount County, while the ANC has officially withdrawn its candidate to avoid confusion and lack of cohesion.
“What is unfolding in the collaboration is inherit contradiction based on the interest of every participating political party that is protected. These contradictions, as much they exist in the collaboration are bound to pass. Over time people will take decisions that many don’t believe in but at the end of the day, the paramount interest of the collective whole that’s what matter.”
He says the primary interest of the collaboration is to ensure the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change does not retain national power come 2023 and that its legislative seats are reduced.
Narrating what transpired within the collaboration, Mr. Toe says when the National Elections Commission announced vacant seat for the senatorial-by election in Grand Cape Mount County following the death of Senator Edward Dagoseh, the Unity Party fielded a candidate and the ANC also fielded a candidate that came about as a result of the breakdown of the vetting process, which the ANC is committed to but the UP refused to submit to the vetting process thereby, creating corridor for two candidates to be fielded by the collaborating parties in Grand Cape Mount County.
According to him, external influence came to bear that the UP candidate should remain, but the ANC was unhappy so, it wrote the National Elections Commission, withdrawing its candidate, Mr. Boima Taylor, though Mr. Taylor contested the decision.
Mr. Toe continues that after the communication to NEC, the Commission informed the national executive of the ANC that Candidate Boima Taylor’s submission could not be withdrawn in accordance with the electoral guidelines.
He reveals that of the five by-elections held since the formation of the collaboration, the Unity Party along had fielded three candidates, leaving the ANC with no alternative but to name its own candidate.
“We supported the Unity Party candidates in Sinoe; the Montserrado County senatorial by-election that brought Sen. Saah Joseph on board, the UP featured Madam Josephine George Francis; the Montserrado County Electoral District #13, the Unity Party fielded a female candidate, so the Unity Party had more space to seek legislative seats than the ANC. We haven’t gotten any seat yet since the formation of the collaboration,” Toe laments.
Henceforth, he warns this is the last month, the last day, the last hour and the minute that the Unity Party will force her way through, adding, “if the collaboration must survive, the ANC must be and should be respected; we stand by that. This is the last by-election that the Unity Party will display such arrogance.”
Toe asserts that the success and survivability of the collaboration will be determined on how party will be treated fairly, equitably, respected and that no one party will dominate anything henceforth.
However, the National Elections Commission has enlisted Mr. Boima Taylor as a candidate in the Grand Cape Mount County senatorial by-election despite a withdrawal request from the ANC.The NEC Tuesday this week said it has qualified a total of seven (7) candidates, including two females and one Independent for the pending by-election.
According to NEC, the candidates are: Mathew Darblo of the Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT), Kula Fofana of the Coalition for Liberia’s Progress (CLP), Daoda Metzger, an independent candidate, Simeon Taylor of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), DabahVarplah of the Unity Party, Victor Watson of the People’s Unification Party (PUP), and Sando Wayne of the Untied People’s Party (UPP).By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor