George M. Weah, a former soccer star turned politician appears to be facing his first major political baptism weeks after his grass root party, the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC formed a coalition with the National Patriotic Party or NPP of jailed ex-President Charles Taylor and that of criminally indicted ex-Speaker Alex Tyler.
Weah, now a Montserrado Senator elected in December of 2014, is alleged to be in constant contact with Mr. Taylor and is allegedly expected to be heavily financed by the jailed former President through his machineries here for the 2017 presidential election.
But with a condition that his (Taylor) estranged wife Jewel Howard Taylor be his [Weah’s] running mate, a speculation that current NPP executives have confirmed that is, as far as the issue of Senator Taylor becoming Weah’s running mate is concerned.
This comes amidst media reports quoting former Chief Investigator of the United Nations backed Special Court for Sierra Leone Dr. Allen White as telling the VoA Taylor had been in discussion with Weah since the signing of an agreement to join forces with Mrs. Taylor to support seeking the Presidency and the vice Presidency .
There has been no official comment from the camp of the CDC or the Coalition as to the validity of the story. This paper was informed Tuesday night that the party’s chairman, Nathaniel McGill is out of the country and so is Sen. Weah. The CDC’s vice chairman for mobilization MulbahMorlu could not take a call last night, sending a text that he was in a meeting.
Mr. Morlu texted back later describing the report as a comic relief, myths and unsubstantiated speculation by distractors, while saying that it will backfire.
“These old tactics of 2011 cannot survive in 2016. We will win no matter what,” he said.
However, it may be recalled that days after Weah announced the formation of a Coalition with the NPP and LPDP, this paper reported how Mr. Taylor was briefed about the arrangement.
Taylor was said to have been informed by one of his family spokespersons here that the party’s decision to join forces with the CDC and LPDP was against the back drop that many of his ex-officials had been out of jobs and that they were suffering. The spokesperson was also quoted to have informed Taylor that the union with the CDC and LPDP could see their resurgence to state power and enable them to gain employment.
On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, Weah announced that his party had formed a coalition with the NPP and LPDP at a ceremony.
The document which gave birth to the coalition named and styled the National Coalition for Democratic Change or Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC was signed by the three political leaders, including Sen. Weah, Sen. Taylor and former Speaker Alex Tyler and all chairpersons and secretary generals of the three political parties.
Other unsubstantiated sources claimed Taylor called on the phone of one of his ex-Generals to speak to Weah during the ceremony on Wednesday November 2.
The latest development brings to question Taylor’s role in Liberian politics. It could be recalled that Taylor as part of the arrangement for his then exile into the Nigerian city of Calabar in 2003, was to avoid melting into Liberian politics.
One of the fears of the international community for which the former President is serving his 50 years prison sentence in faraway Great Britain was to ensure that he stay clear of Liberian politics.
A spokesman for the Taylor family, Sen. Sando Johnson told this writer on Tuesday November 8, that Taylor had not spoken to him about any coalition, despite claims to the contrary by sources.
“Nobody must get Taylor involve into Liberian politics,” Sen. Johnson said.
But another official told this paper that for him, he was not aware of Taylor speaking to Sen. Johnson but that he can say that Taylor is pleased with the Coalition. The coalition intends to pair Weah and Jewel Taylor as their 2017 ticket.
Already there has been protest against the coalition by some group of individuals claiming to be concerned NPP partisans led by the ex- commander of the disbanded Special Operation Division or SOD of the Liberia National Police during the Taylor regime. YekehKolubah said that NPP joining the coalition was not discussed by the executive members of the party.
His claim has been dismissed by one of the party’s official Mr. Rudolph Cooper, who also insists that Mr. Kolubah is not a partisan of the NPP in the first place.