Reports gathered from multiple sources in Monrovia and parts adjacent indicate that about seven prominent politicians are intensively lobbying to become running mate to the leader of the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, Senator George MannahWeah for the impending 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
Unimpeachable sources in the corridor of the CDC say the lobbyists include National Patriotic Party or NPP political leader, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor; Cuttington University former president, Dr. Henrique Tokpah; former Foreign Minister Augustine KpeheNgafuan, and House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, among others.
According to reports, the President Pro-tempore of the Liberian Senate, Armah Jallah, has also thrown his hat in the race for the CDC vice standard bearer post, while former Auditor General John Morlu, and Nimba County Representative R. MatenokayTingban think they are most suitable to accompany Weah on the CDC ticket for the presidency.
What is yet unclear however is whether Senator George Weah really intends to contest for the Executive Mansion in 2017, having vied in two previous elections and lost the polls.
Sources within the Executive of the party say if those lobbying to become running mate to Weah did not succeed, they could be awarded lucrative posts in government, after a CDC victory.
They say if NPP political leader Senator Jewel Howard Taylor did not succeed in her quest to become Weah’s running mate, the CDC has plan to support her to become the next President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, while Speaker Tyler would be supported to retain his post as head of the First Branch of the Liberian government, and Representative Tingban would become Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative. Strategists of the CDC say the real challenge could be where to place former Foreign Minister Ngafuan if he’s not selected to become vice standard bearer, but they have agreed about 85 per centto return Mr. John Morlu to the General Auditing Commission as Auditor General, if Weah failed to choose him as running mate.
With the high interest being expressed by some key politicians to becoming vice standard bearer in the CDC, the party is said to be downplaying meager talks with the opposition Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine.
Brumskine’s Liberty Party and the CDC have reportedly been holding talks on a possible merger, but the discussions are said to be inconclusive and both sides seem unwilling or unready to give detail to the public.
When contacetd via mobile phone, the national chairman of the CDC, Mr. Nathaniel McGill, neither confirmed nor denied the information, but added that the attraction of the party now is how to rise for a successful election.
McGill said the decision as to who becomes running mate to George Weah, will be decided by the Senator himself in consultation with the national executive committee, but the party’s primary concern right now is to mobilize funds to contest the 2017 elections.
“The CDC is interested in raising about US$15 million for the entire process, including national referendum, presidential elections, elections for both Pro- Tempore and the speaker posts. Few things that I know: the CDC is a place where potential politicians will want to come for political lobbying and survivability. Our doors are open to anyone, who has good intention for the country,” McGill concluded.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne