-Winston Tubman rejects expulsion
Former standard bearer and presidential candidate of the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Cllr. Winston A. Tubman insists that he remains a registered member of the party despite his expulsion in 2011.
Cllr. Tubman contested for the Presidency in 2011 with CDC political leader George Weah, now a Senator, as running mate, but they lost the polls.
Following the elections, the party expelled Cllr. Tubman on March 2, 2011, citing fulfillment of a one-term agreement he reached with the Congress for Democratic Change.
A statement read by then national secretary general, now Montserrado County Representative Acarous Gray said:
“Tubman’s removal as Standard-Bearer of the institution is in fulfillment of a one-term agreement reached with the organization, which required a dutiful obligation to voluntarily relinquish office within a thirty-day period after the conduct of the general and presidential elections 2011. This timely decision by the party has become especially judicious considering the post-ultimatum time luxury afforded him to prepare for a convenient exit.”
Gray added, “As this mass-based grassroots movement continuously projects an ambience of discipline, trust and unblemished pledge to that national liberation struggle of the Liberian people, it remains drastically intolerant to the line, hook and sinker of selfish political engineering that has become entrenched in the domestic democratic psychology.”
Tubman subsequently melted away from the political scene and has been largely quiet, making intermittent visits abroad and returning to the country.
He broke his long silence Thursday during a press conference hosted at his law firm on Broad Street, Monrovia, commenting on wide range of issues, including his political status, the government, UNMIL drawdown, among others.
Cllr. Tubman said any journalist, who claims that he (Tubman) was expelled, that reporter should go back to those, who announced his expulsion, arguing that as far he is concern, and he only took a political leave.
“I’m member of the CDC; nothing has changed that. I only [took a] sabbatical from the political field for rest and now is the time for us to make a comeback,” Cllr. Tubman further argued.
A recent news report here quoted CDC national chairman, Nathaniel McGill, as saying the party is “open to talk to anybody.” However, what Chairman McGill did not mention, and Cllr. Tubman seems to be alluding to is that another one-term agreement between him and the party could well be in its final stage.
Liberian politicians do not build political institutions. They instead, wait for election time and then go into shady deals, involving cash inducement with supposedly popular parties to become standard bearer and vie for the Presidency.
Commenting on the 2017 race, the former United Nations Special Representative to Somalia, called on the Government of Liberia to commit to ensuring peaceful and smooth transition beyond 2017, when renewed vigor, efforts, and energy must be exerted to free the people from social, political and economic lethargy.
“The issue of political interference in the workings of the National Elections Commission”, Cllr. Tubman said, “has often been raised in many quarters; the Government of Liberia and its international partners will be under obligation to ensure that the voices of the Liberian people will be respected when they turn out to decide the future of their country in 2017. Peaceful, free, fair and credible elections must be the guiding principles of the 2017 democratic transition, and these efforts must begin now.”
According to him, the ongoing drawdown of United Nations troops is not healthy for Liberia that had suffered 14 years of bitter civil conflict, especially as the country prepares for elections in 2017.
“Judging from the current state of affairs, it will not be a wise decision to affect the ongoing departure of UNMIL Troops from the country. I therefore call on the United Nations to reduce the pace and halt its current troop drawdown plan. UNMIL must remain in the country at current troop strength to monitor and supervise the processes leading to the 2017 electoral transition.”
He called on Liberian politicians to seek political amalgamation and mergers to reduce the number of parties going for elections in such a small country like Liberia with a population of less than 5 million.
More than 20 parties contested in the last presidential elections in 2011, but none of them, including the governing Unity Party of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the CDC were able to obtain 50 percent plus one of the total votes required by the Constitution to win the nation’s highest office.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor