-Over Decision to Conduct Primaries; Sen. Morais Says there Will Be No Primary; SG Andrew rejects; Rep Gray Calls For Calm
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is reportedly sinking into confusion ahead of the December 2020 senatorial elections over plan to conduct primaries for, would be candidates on the ticket of the coalition in counties they have incumbents.
If the primary is carried out in the fifteen counties as announced by the Chairman of the CDC, Mulbah K. Morlu, it will be an abrogation of the Memorandum of Understanding that brought the National Patriotic (NPP), Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP) and the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) together.
Article 7 of the MOU: ‘Terms
and Conditions of the Coalition’ Section (g) states “That parties to the
Coalition which have seats in the legislature shall reserve the right to
nomination to the seat. In constituencies where the Coalition members don’t
have seats, the candidates that provide the best option for victory shall be
considered as the Coalition’s nominees”
The MOU clearly states that wherever the coalition has an incumbent lawmaker, only that incumbent lawmaker’s party has the sole right to place candidate in that electoral district or County.
Sen. H. Dan Morais:
However, if the plan by the CDC to conduct primaries in the fifteen counties goes on, Senator Dan Morais of Maryland County, a stalwart of the NPP said they will go to court for the interpretation of the MOU signed.
Appearing on Okay FM late Tuesday June 23, 2020 evening show, Senator Morais said such convention will be thrown into the ‘dustbin’ and there will be no primary conducted by the coalition.
According to him, there are people with self-seeking intention who want to ignore the MOU, but said, it wouldn’t work.
It is reported that the current chairman of the NPP and former Representative James P. Biney is favored over Senator Morais for the NPP slot in Maryland County for the senatorial seat; while Alex Tyler of the LPDP is favored over Senator Sando Johnson of Bomi County.
“Stop manipulating primaries. I have taken off my gloves, the battle has started. There will be no primaries and the court will review this piece of document because we have made piece of sacrifices,” he said.
However, Senator Morais said there is still room for dialogue if they so desire, saying if anything should be changed on the document, it should be changed the proper way.
He however said President Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor shouldn’t be blamed for what is going on concerning primaries as announced by Chairman Mulbah K. Morlu.
“Mulbah Morlu is not bigger than the Governing Council of the coalition presided over by President George Weah. I know people are misrepresenting the president. But we will defend the NPP and I have a seat in the Liberian senate,” he said.
He further reminded members of the CDC of the precedence cases in Bong and Montserrado Counties during senatorial by-elections when the CDC featured Senator Saah Joseph and Josiah Marvin Cole without opposition from any member of the tripartite arrangement.
According to him, those seats were previously occupied by the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) prior to the by-elections.
Senator Morais further said “We never had precedence where we challenged the incumbent.”
Representative Acarous Gray:
Responding to Senator Morais, Montserrado County electoral district eight Representative Moses Acarous Gray said the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has no intention to melt into the NPP.
He however said there are consultations with the LPDP, NPP and CDC ongoing, but said blames shouldn’t be shifted on Chairman Morlu from any member of the coalition.
Secretary General Andrew Peters:
Meanwhile, appearing on Okay FM Wednesday June 24, 2020, the Secretary General of the NPP, Andrew Peters said there will be primary and he calls on partisans of the CDC to be in high gear for the nationwide primary slated from July 15-30, 2020.
Peters is the head of the committee to conduct primary for Rivergee and Maryland Counties in Harper.
In February of this year, the Governance Council of the coalition for the first time held a first official meeting and in that meeting, key on agenda was the senatorial elections.
There were two sticky issues
from Maryland and Bomi counties; where NPP expressed interests in the ensuing
“In Maryland, We have on NPP Slot, Incumbent Dan Morais re-contesting and NPP Chairman, James Biney vying and the NPP is divided on that; while in Bomi County, NPP incumbent Sando Johnson has announced decision to retain and interestingly, Alex Tyler of LPDP with huge supports of the coalition is doing all to contest in Bomi County where NPP has an incumbent,” our source said.
According to our sources, the February GC meeting, in which each party was represented by seven (7) officials excluding the coalition standard bearer George Weah, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Speaker and Pro-tempore, President Weah who was annoyed over the unabated in-house battle and disregarding the MOU, woke-up in that meeting said “Let everybody go for primary and whoever wins, the coalition will support that candidate.”