Ahead of the 2017 General and Presidential Elections, Liberian politicians are meeting here and there in talks for possible coalition or merger.
Latest reports reaching The NewDawn say Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, political leader of the former ruling National Patriotic Party or NPP is working behind the clock to become vice running mate to Central Bank of Liberia Executive Governor, Dr. Mills Jones.
Governor Jones has made no formal declaration on vying for the Presidency, but is involved in a massive loan program that has endeared citizens to him across the country. However, some executive members of the NPP are opposed to such merger on grounds that Dr. Jones political life has nothing in common with the party.
Chairman emeritus, Chief Cyril Allen, said it would be imprudent for any politician to do business with Senator Taylor on the basis of merger. He stressed that political parties do not operate on an individual basis, instead, parties should meet through executive committees or national conventions to derive official mandate to embark on merger talks.
Chief Allen reminded that the NPP is currently in leadership crisis and that the National Elections Commission is in the process of investigating and subsequently setting a timetable for convention where it will decide whether to hold merger talks or not.
He indicated that it is yet unclear whether Sen. Taylor will remain standard bearer of the NPP comes 2016 when the party will hold convention. Meantime, the Congress for Democratic Change of Senator George Weah is on the verge of concluding a deal with the Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine.
But the sticky issue delaying pronouncement of the merger is some stalwarts of the CDC are opposed to Brumskine becoming standard bearer in such merger. The CDC officials are claiming they have numbers and as such, Senator Weah must become flag bearer of a Weah-Brumskine ticket.
If the pending ticket should stand, the speaker post in the House of Representatives will be given to the CDC while the Liberty Party will take the Pro-Tempore position in the Liberian Senate. The Liberty Party has also proposed that key government ministries and agencies that should go to the CDC include Youth and Sports, Internal Affairs, Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Sources indicate that Weah and the CDC intend to sell themselves to the Liberian people under a Brumskine Presidency. Liberty Party Secretary General, Jacob Smith could not confirm the merger talk between the LP and the CDC, but added that much progress was being made in that direction. He noted that at the appreciable time, the Liberian people will be told the direction of the two parties.
Besides, the named ministries, CDC will also proffer names of qualified and competent individuals to serve in government, based on their credentials.
The CDC is also demanding that it has a brand name in Liberian politics, so Congress for Democratic Change should become official name of the coalition. However; second choice of the CDC is Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan. Reports say that the Foreign Minister is willing to go as vice standard bearer to Weah.
Accordingly, Brumskine is not supportive of Weah being in front of the ticket. However, negotiations are intensively ongoing between the two leading opposition parties. Another expected combining political force is evolving between Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson. Vice President Boakai is seriously lobbying with the Nimba County strongman for a coalition.
Johnson is said to have partly agreed on condition thatBoakai should become chief financier of the impending political campaign. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Editing by Jonathan Browne