Congress for Democratic Change or CDC leader Senator George Weah is receiving punches for his reported alliance with former President Charles Ghankay Taylor ahead of the 2017elections.
Mr. Taylor, a war crime convict currently serving a 50-year prison term in Britain allegedly communicated with Weah on Liberia’s political future though one of the conditions that led him to have relinquished the presidency in 2003 and subsequently gone in exile was to stay clear of politics here.
The reported discussion between Weah and Taylor led the CDC and the ex-president’s National Patriotic Party or NPP to form a political marriage that also brought in criminally indicted ex-speaker Alex Tyler’s Liberia People Democratic Party or LPDP.
However, the leader of the little known opposition Liberia National Union or LINU has described the move by Weah as a political minus and a great mistake that could jeopardize the political future of the CDC leader.
Mr. Nathaniel Blamah told this paper in an interview in Monrovia that if the reported discussion between Taylor and the Montserrado County Senator Weah were anything to hold on to, than it is a political minus that could hinder the future of the Congress for Democratic Change.
He said it seems impossible for such discussion to be held between both men on grounds that Taylor’s telephone is believed to be monitored, and if Weah had taken such path, it is regrettable and internationally embarrassing for the country, which would not be taken lightly on the international scene especially, ahead of a crucial presidential election in 2017 in which the CDC is expected to become lead campaigner against the ruling Unity Party.
On the other hand, Mr. Blamah said the CDC-NPP marriage could boost the CDC campaign machinery, noting that former President Taylor remains the most popular Liberians in the county and CDC could enjoy popular votes at the expense of Taylor’s name.
Reports in several local dailies in Monrovia recently quoted an official of the former UN-back Special Court of Sierra Leone as accusing Taylor of attempting to influence outcome of the 2017 elections in favor of Weah, who maintains a strong collaboration with ex-first lady Senator Jewel Howard Taylor.
Senator Taylor, Charles Taylor’s estranged wife, is expected to serve as Weah’s running mate for the presidency. The former chief investigator for the Special Court of Sierra Leone Alan White is quoted in local dailies here as receiving information from “credible sources” that Taylor was seeking to help Weah wins the polls.
“He’s been in discussion with Senator George Weah who recently signed an agreement to join forces with Jewel Taylor – Taylor’s former wife – to support seeking the presidency and the vice-presidency. George will be at the top of the ticket,” – Mr White was quoted as saying.
The three parties CDC, NPP, and LPDP signed a merger recently at the headquarters of the CDC in Congo Town, culminating in what is now styled “Coalition for Democratic Change.”
According to the ‘Article of Collaboration,’ the parties agreed that the standard bearer and the vice standard bearer will not come from the same party; and that the CDC shall nominate the standard bearer.
“That the Standard Bearer of the Coalition shall choose his/her running mate from any of the other parties from the Coalition,” the document said. As for the administration of the coalition, it will be managed by a Governing Council and Executive Committee.
By E. Nathaniel Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne