Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais has petitioned the National Elections Commission to interpret and enforce agreement uniting the Congress for Democratic Change, the National Patriotic Party and the Liberian People Democratic Party as the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.
Senator Morais in his petition submitted Monday, July 20, before the full board of commissioners of the National Elections Commission quoted Article Seven (7) Section (g) of the Coalition document which states that parties to the Coalition that occupy seats in the legislature shall reserve the right of nomination to seats and in constituencies where Coalition membership doesn’t have seats, candidates who provide the best option for victory shall be considered as the coalition nominees.
The Maryland Senator argued that the document that created the Coalition for Democratic Change is very clear for anyone to temper with, warning that doing so is to create unnecessary tension among partisans and stalwarts.
He said as long he remains senator of the 54th Liberian Legislature and pursuant to Article 46 of the Liberian Constitution, his term of office as a senator shall expire at the end of 2020. Meaning that his seat as a senator shall be subject of election at the mid-term senatorial elections, which is scheduled for 8th December 2020, and that such position is not be contested for in the CDC’s primary.
Sen. Morais, who represents the National Patriotic Party, noted that the by-election for the successor to Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe, formerly senator of Sinoe County, the Coalition deferred to the Congress for Democratic Change in consideration of the fact that the party overwhelmingly won the elective positions for Sinoe County by defeating the Unity Party during the 2017 presidential election.
He argued that on the basis of this deferral, the Congress for Democratic Change went through its internal processes and procedures for the second time and nominated Augustine Chea to be the Coalition’s candidate for that by-election. Which Chea won and is currently Senator of Sinoe County.
The Senate chairman on Foreign Relations also highlighted that in the by-election for the successor to the late Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, the Coalition decided that Montserrado County is a “controlled territory” of the Congress for Democratic Change and based on that decision, the constituent political parties of the Coalition decided that the Congress for Democratic Change should field a candidate for the Coalition to contest the by-election.
He narrated that the Congress for Democratic Change underwent its internal process and procedures and nominated Madam PaulitaWie to be the Coalition’s candidate; but PaulitaWie lost the by-election to Darius Dillon of the Liberty Party. Since then Darius Dillon has been and continues to be the Senator.
According to him, he has submitted that for the ensuing December 2020 Special Senatorial election, scheduled to be held on the 8th day of December 2020, the National Patriotic Party relied on the terms of the Coalition Agreement, the Coalition Agreement Addendum and the precedence set in selecting a candidate for the Coalition to apply its internal process and procedures and had nominated Sen. H. Dan Morais, who is the incumbent Senator from Maryland County, to be the Coalition’s candidate.
“This fact is substantiated by a letter dated June 14, 2020 by which Petitioner informed the Executive Committee of the National Patriotic Party, through the office of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Standard Bearer of the National Patriotic Party, of Petitioner’s intention to contest for re-election as the Senator from Maryland County, hereto attached as “Attachment 3”. By a subsequent letter dated June 18, 2020 to the Standard Bearer of the National Patriotic Party, the Chairman of the Chapter of the National Patriotic Party for Maryland County informed the Standard Bearer of the National Patriotic Party that the Maryland Chapter of the National Patriotic Party had selected Petitioner to serve as the nominee for the Respondent Coalition to contest for re-election (the ensuing 8th December 2020 mid-term senatorial elections). This communication is attached hereto as “Attachment 4”, the petition said.
Morias explained that following the process, a press release dated July 10, 2020 was issued by the Assistant Secretary for Press and Propaganda of the National Patriotic Party, which confirmed that Sen. Morais had been selected through a primary of partisans of the National Patriotic Party in Maryland County to seek re-election as the candidate of the Coalition.
The press release also informed the public that Senator Armah Z. Jallah, an incumbent senator from Gbarpolu County, had also been selected through a primary of partisans of the National Patriotic Party in Gbarpolu County to seek re-election as the candidate of the Coalition.
He added that the facts narrated and the law which should control such matters, the Coalition for Democratic Change has “decided” that a primary shall be held in some counties and certain other undescribed processes and procedures shall be adopted for some other counties to determine who shall be the CDC’s candidate for each county.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne