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Politicians downplay CDC merger talks

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaSeveral politicians amongst them the chairman emeritus of the National Patriotic Party or NPP Chief Cyril Allen and Secretary General of the opposition Liberty Party, Jacob Smith have cast doubt over a Congress for Democratic Change or CDC led merger plans ahead of the 2017 elections, saying the latter cannot be trusted.

The CDC over the weekend organized a secret forum in the central Liberian town of Gbarnga, in Bong County, aimed at bringing together key political figures and parties to form a common front to wrestle power from the weakening ruling Unity Party in 2017.

Amongst those present at that meeting were Senators George Weah, Prince Johnson, Speaker Alex Tyler and Senate Pro-temp Armah Jallah accompanied by several law makers.

But in separate interviews on Monday,  Chief Cyril Allen of the NPP said that idea of politicians coming to form fronts in the impending election is good and welcoming but some discussants that were in the Gbarnga forum may not be sincere in the process.

Allen  said Liberians are not very good at political commitment and coming together politically for pending elections, adding that the initiative is a welcoming idea but the commitment  of politicians living up to the policies that will be concluded by the body is another factor that should not be overlooked. 

“We’ll sit and watch the process,” Allen said adding that he “also supports the idea of reducing the proliferation of political parties here.” 

Commenting about the incumbent, Mr. Allen said that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf does not have the political will to influence the results of the 2017 election on grounds that she’s ‘very unpopular’ with the people. 

He added that any political party or politician that will encourage the president’s support invites the curse of his or her failure for the presidency.

For the Liberty Party Scribe, Jacob Smith was straight to the point saying many of the individuals leading the process were not sincere.

Though he did not name the individuals but the CDC may have brought back bad memories after it dumps the LP days following pronouncement that both parties had concluded merger talks for 2011.

Weah, one of the key figure present in Gbarnga over the weekend, pulled out of the Liberty Party merger even before the marriage could be consummated amid a barrage of gossips and accusations.

However, Smith did not ruled out that his Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Brumskine is in  close discussion with the NPP, the Movement for Progressive Change or MPC of Simeon Freeman, National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP and several other prominent individuals for a coalition in 2017.

Smith noted that with the crowded political field here no one party can win first round election, suggesting that political parties should now start considering merger or building alliances in order to remain focus for the presidency.   

However, recent examples of failed merger talks include that of 2011 Cllr. Charles Brumskine and CDC George Weah. Weah pulled out even before the marriage could be consummated amid a barrage of gossips and accusations.

In the same 2011, another group headed by Prof. Dew Mason and current Information Minister Lewis Brown felt apart days after it was made public.

In 1997, few weeks before the election in which Taylor transitioned from warlord to president was held, key political figures here mainly comprising of the “age old progressives” nearly ended up in fist fight, again abandoning their merger plans giving the warlord then a clean sheet.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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