With two years to general and presidential elections in Liberia, politicians here have already begun moving here and there holding discussions for possible mergers and alliances.
The talks here kicked off recently among the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change of Senator George Weah, the ex-standard bearer of the de-certificated National Union of Democratic Progress (NUDP) Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County, and Speaker Alex Tyler of the governing Unity Party, among others.
Last week, Liberia’s Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai accepted a petition from his kinsmen of Lofa County to contest for the Presidency in 2017.
Now latest reports reaching this paper indicate that Bong County Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor of Charles Taylor’s ex-ruling National Patriotic Party or NPP and Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine of the opposition Liberty Party are lacked in serious merger talks to put forth a single ticket for the nation’s sometimes fiercely contested seated.
Information gathered from close associates of Senator Taylor and Cllr. Brumskine says the former first lady has reportedly agreed to go as running mate to the Liberty Party political leader, if all terms and agreements are settled.
Credibly placed sources hinted that Cllr. Brumskine has partly agreed to work with Senator Taylor, but some NPP stalwarts are kicking against the proposed marriage on grounds that Brumskine was one of those persons who created the scene that brought the NPP-led government to its knees.
When the Assistant Secretary General for Administration of the former ruling party was contacted via mobile phone, he could speak to the reported talks between Senator Taylor and Cllr, Brumskine, but added that several political discussions were ongoing and it was too early announce any conclusion.
Mr. Marvin Cole said the NPP is open for merger with all political parties but it has not made any decision on forming a ticket with anybody for the 2017 Presidential election.
He also explained that the NPP will shortly constitute a special merger committee that would be mandated in specific terms to engage other political institutions across the country for a smooth and perfect merger that the Liberian people would cherish and appreciate.
“If people say Sen. Taylor has reached a full grown decision of contesting with anyone, I doubt it because the NPP as a party has not made such decision. But what are happening now are serious talks about the 2017 race. We are about to constitute special committee to engage other political parties about the way forward,” he added.
Also speaking to The NewDawn about the reported merger talks, Liberty Party Secretary General Jacob Smith, admitted that his party is in discussion with several political parties and politicians about creating a winnable team for the 2017 race.
Though Mr. Smith did not confirm the deal between Cllr. Brumskine and Sen. Jewel Howard-Taylor he stressed that the Liberty Party is seriously holding discussion with the NPP, Movement for Progressive Change, Transformation Party, the National Union for Democratic Progress and several other parties about reducing the proliferation of parties.
He added that it is impossible for one political party or an independent candidate to win in the first round of polling. “We are holding discussions with many political parties. Our hope is parties with platforms and ideas can come together for a common front because one party can’t win election here easily.” By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Edited by Jonathan Browne