On 2nd Thoughts: 2023 blues-Why CDC is in pole position
By Othello B. Garblah
Sanction-hit ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) appears to be in a pole position heading towards the 2023 general and presidential elections here amidst a divided opposition bloc.
Despite key members of the ruling party smarting under sanction with fear of others being added, CDC remains ahead and is well poised for a resounding second-term victory thanks to greed, mistrust, and disunity among opposition figures.
The opposition community here remains divided with leaders seeing no reason to put aside self-interest, deception and come with honesty. Their refusal to unite and form a common front to challenge incumbent President Weah has even given the latter more edge swaying many to the ruling party despite reports of massive corruption within its rank and files.
The likes of former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and Alexander B. Cummings whose united front would have given the opposition hope are miles apart reconciling both men at this stage seem very impossible.
Whatever may have torn both men apart remained unexplained but has worked well in favor of President Weah giving him less stress ahead of the election.
Some would wonder why people that spoke with one voice and worked so well during December 8, 2020, special senatorial election can no longer see reason to do the same. Internal bickering and backbiting have clouded their judgment. That euphoria that greeted the opposition bloc in 2020 sending CDCians tails between their legs with fear that power was gradually eroding out of their grasp has since dissipated by splits and bad blood among opposition members.
The Urey and Bility factor
Mr. Benoni Urey of the All-Liberian Party and Musa Bility of the Liberty Party have been viewed with suspicion here, as their roles bags many unanswered questions.
Some pundits have described both men as agents or collaborators of the ruling CDC with a well-thought-out plan to divide the opposition to the advantage of President Weah’s reelection in 2023.
Whether both men have realized it or not, they appear to have played crucial roles in tearing both Boakai and Cummings apart.
Mr. Urey’s unending beef with Mr. Cummings of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) and Bility’s stiffed-neck approach to the Liberty Party’s internal bickering appears to be a well-drawn-out plan from a political playbook. Knowing that a united Boakai and Cummings would spell doom for the CDC keeping both men at arm’s length could help do the trick.
Both men seem to be working on this so well. Although they seem to be on opposing sides in public but in private, they look to be working towards the same objective-some would say. While Urey continues to present himself as a strong ally to Mr. Boakai, he may be well-detailed in his assignment by keeping both Boakai and Cummings apart, therefore, any move to bring both men together will be thwarted.
Bility, a friend of President Weah looks to be playing his role very well too. Not only is he succeeding in splitting the Liberty Party, but continually reminding Mr. Cummings that he doesn’t need Unity Party or Boakai to succeed is a deception that is playing out so well in favor of President Weah. Both Urey and Bility are businessmen with vested interests either way.
The disintegration of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) is an added advantage for the ruling CDC.
The result of December 8, 2020, special senatorial election presented an opportunity for the CPP especially after winning in vote-rich counties like Montserrado, Bong, Lofa, Bassa and Margibi.
Within the hierarchy of the CDC, the December 8, 2020, special senatorial election result showcase a worrying sign for the party ahead of the 2023 elections.
The writings were on the wall comparing the National Elections Commission 2017 final voter registration statistics with Montserrado constituting 36% of registered voters followed by Bong at 9%, Lofa at 8%, Grand Bassa at 7%, and Margibi at 7%. This amounted to 67% of the total number of registered voters and had the CPP in a pole position.
The Boakai, Cummings factor
The refusal of both former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and Mr. Cummings to reconcile their differences to present a united opposition front is also an added advantage in favor of incumbent President Weah.
Though others may argue that both men cannot win George Weah mainly because they do not have the political constituents, grassroots support and public trust is a figment of imagination.
A ticket of both Boakai and Cummings presents a force that even the CDC would admit, it cannot surmount.