The New Dawn (Monrovia)

22 March 2013

Liberia: CDC Threatens Government

Photo: Helen Andreasson/UNDP
Voters line up at a polling station in Monrovia.

The main opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC has threatened to use every available means to oppose the nomination of National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairperson-designate, Cllr. Jerome Kokoyah.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf nominated Cllr. Kokoya on Wednesday to head the National Elections Commission, 17 months following the resignation of Mr. James Fromayan.

Counselor Kokoya contested for Bong County District#1 seat on the governing Unity Party's ticket during the 2011 Presidential and General Elections.

It is not clear whether he had tendered his resignation from the ruling party before being nominated to head the country's electoral body.

Others nominated by the President to the commission include: Cllr. Sarah Toe, Co-Chair and Cllr. Elizabeth Nelson (previously Acting Chair) member, along with Ms. Henrietta Madia Peters, Messers Jonathan Weedor, Ansumana Kromah, and Samuel Joe.

An Executive Mansion's press release said the nominations are in keeping with Chapter 2, Section 2.2, of the New Elections Law of 1986, and as amended in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

But addressing a news conference in Monrovia on Thursday at the CDC headquarters in Congo Town, the party's National Chair George Solo described the nomination as an insult to the Liberian people and a mockery to democracy.

"This government is taking the Liberian people for a ride, and they think we are prepared for another political compromise as done in the past. I can clearly say that they are making a big mistake because the CDC will definitely demonstrate to ensure that the pending by-election [Grand Bassa County's Senatorial By-election] does not hold," Solo threatened, and added that due to the "joking and mortgage posture of the government", the CDC will boycott the Grand Bassa Senatorial By- Election on 7 May 2013.

The CDC Chairperson, who just returned from the United States where he attended the burial of Ambassador George Weah's mother, stressed that the Congress for Democratic Change is not taking the appointment lightly, adding that the party will fight at all fronts, including street protests and massive demonstration to draw the attention of the government.

Solo further threatened that the CDC has the power to mobilize its partisans and sympathizers to instill in them 'revolutionary training' that would create serious setbacks for the government. He disclosed that the CDC has embarked on a process of engaging its legislative caucus at the Capitol to make sure the nominee is rejected by the Senate.

In an apparent furious mood, he warned that the government should not think the appointment of Ambassador George Weah as Peace and Reconciliation Ambassador will subject the CDC to a pro-government posture, supportive of the Sirleaf regime.

Commenting on Montserrado County Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe's claims during a radio talkshow here Wednesday that George Weah is not a unifier and should relinquish his Peace and Reconciliation Ambassador post before contesting the mid-term senatorial election in 2014, Solo described Snowe as a comedian, saying "I will not give credence to a comedian; a man, who does not know what he wants in life. Charles Taylor old rebel boy, who at a point in time carried Russians to the President [Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf] and the next day cried that he has been duped of his investors."

Speaking on the talkshow, Rep. Snowe maintained that George Weah is not a unifier as he lacks the spirit of uniting the people of Liberia after 14 years of conflict, noting that one of the main challenges of the Congress for Democratic Change, which Amb. George Mannah Weah heads is unity, and that the party is yet to find a way of uniting its partisans.

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