All seems not well in the governing Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC over which candidate to put forth in the impending senatorial by-election in Bong County to replace Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, who left a vacant senatorial seat in the county as a result of her emergence as second in command to the George Weah’s Presidency.
Coalition National Chairman Mulbah Morlu has allegedly approved and sent the name of Representative J. Marvin Cole to the National Elections Commission for registration, but the National Patriotic Party or NPP, a founding member of the three-party marriage insists that the Bong senatorial is it exclusive right based on the fact that its political leader Jewel Howard Taylor, previously occupied the seat up to her selection by now Ambassador George Weah to contest for the presidency in 2017.
Instead of Representative J. Marvin Cole, the NPP elected ex-lawmaker Bill Corneh on white ballot during its recent primary held in Gbarnga, Bong County. This has led the Executive Committee of the NPP to write the NEC to halt the registration process of Representative Josiah Marvin Cole as CDC’s candidate for the senatorial by-election, pending settlement of the internal wrangling over the slot.
The Bong County District#3 Representative Josiah Marvin Cole, who did not turnout for the recent primary in Gbarnga, is claimed to have been single-handedly approved by Chairman Morlu for registration at the NEC when the NPP Executive Committee has gone to present the name of former Bong District#6 Representative Adam Bill Corneh as the Coalition Candidate instead.
According to the NPP Executive Committee, it discovered that Mr. Morlu, who signed for the party’s package, had already approved the name of Rep. Cole.
A communication dated May 1, 2018 from the NPP to the NEC, PP on behalf of its National Chairman, James P. Biney, requests the Commission to halt the processing of Rep. J. Marvin Cole until otherwise.
“I present sincere compliments and herewith inform you that, the National Patriotic Party writes to request that the National Elections Commission put on hold the registration process of Honorable J. Marvin Cole until investigation is conducted”, the communication reads.
It further states that the action is in line with the NPP constitution and that Rep. Cole is not the party’s candidate for the said senatorial by-election because he alleged refused to participate in the Gbarnga’s convention to nominate a candidate.
The primary was held at the Women Center in Gbarnga on Sunday, April 29, 2018 with delegates from all seven electoral districts and the Bong County Executive Committee of the NPP resolving to carry Bill Corneh.
Another communication dated April 30, 2018 under the signature of NPP secretary general Bolton Dennis to Coalition Chairman Mulbah Morlu says, the NPP has learned with dismay that he (Morlu) signed for the package from the NEC for the Bong County senatorial by-election in favor of Rep. Cole despite his (Cole’s) alleged refusal to go for primary even though the process was opened.
The communication expresses disappointment in Chairman Morlu’s alleged action, stating, “We think this act is unacceptable and has the propensity to undermine everything that we work for as a Coalition.”
Though Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has not made any public statement about the ongoing political rigmarole in the Coalition, sources within the CDC say her interest in the election is the rationale behind the dispute that is now rocking the former ruling NPP.
According to sources, she allegedly told Representative J. Marvin Cole not to attend the party’s primary in Gbarnga, but instead, encouraged him to go to the NEC to get registered for the by-election on the ticket of Coalition.
However, Mr. Adam Bill Corneh has threatened to pursue the matter at the Supreme Court, if he were denied by the CDC, arguing that he won the primary through a transparent and fair process.
By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi-Editing by Jonathan Browne