The leader of the ex-ruling National Patriotic Party or NPP, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor has predicted an overwhelming victory for the ruling Unity Party in 2017, if opposition political parties here failed to put their acts together.
She made the comment in Tubmanbug, Bomi County over the weekend where the NPP held its congress, with delegates amending some portions of the NPP’s constitution. Sen. Taylor called on stalwarts, executives and partisans across the country to consider the need to collaborate with other opposition parties, including the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, All Liberian Party (ALP), Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP) among others ahead of the 2017 Presidential and Representatives elections.
The NPP was established by ex-President Charles Ghankay Taylor and won the Presidency in 1997 under a Special Election organized by the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS. Its nearly six years rule was characterized by serious armed opposition that eventually ended in 2003 following a peace accord brokered among Liberian factions in Accra, Ghana.
Madam Taylor, former Liberian first lady, stressed that it is impossible for one political party, especially from the opposition bloc to win the impending presidential election in the absence forming coalition.
According to her, the best option for the NPP is to align with the CDC, recording that in two recent elections, both parties collaborated. The Bong County Senator urged her partisans to appreciate their past record because the NPP-led administration was better than the current UP-led administration, but did not say how or in which terms.
She said during the regime of former President Charles Taylor, a 100 pounds bag of rice was sold for US$20 or LDR800 unlike the current administration where thousands of Liberians cannot afford a bag of rice.
Senator Taylor noted that some of the policies introduced by her husband are being built upon by the governing Unity Party, pointing to the establishment of the Ministry of Gender and Development.
Commenting on her desire to head the NPP, she said two contenders, Ambassador Milton Nathaniel Barnes and Hannaiah Zoe both could not manage to an extent that the National Elections Commission or NEC de-certificated their respective parties.
Ambassador Barnes founded the Liberia Destiny Party but the NEC de-certificated the LDP following the 2005 Presidential elections, while Rev. Zoe’s Liberia Empowerment Party was de-certificated by NEC after the 2011 race, respectively.
Both individuals have joined the NPP with the sole interest of contesting for its standard bearer post, which Senator Taylor is enjoying and has also expressed interest of retaining. The NPP’s Constitution says anyone desirous of contesting for the standard bearer post, must have held membership for five years, but this clause was amended by delegates during the congress in Tubmanburg.
National Chairman James Biney along with Chairman emeritus Chief Cyril Allen called for the clause to be changed to accommodate all interested individuals. However, many NPP partisans are considering ousting Senator Taylor from the standard bearer post for her alleged role during the Cllr. Theophilus Gould-led chairmanship which saw the party factionalized.
Though at the Tubmanburg congress Senator Taylor apologized for taking side with Cllr. Gould, but the party is reportedly resolved to oust the ex-first lady as standard bearer and bring in Ambassador Barnes in pending convention in December.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne