12 October 2013

Liberia: Sirleaf to Intervene in Bong Lawmakers' Feud - Caucus Chairman Mulbah Says

Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is set to intervene to try to steep growing tensions between Unity Party (UP) District #7 Rep. Corpu Barclay and National Patriotic Party (NPP) Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, the Chairman of the Bong County legislative caucus has disclosed.

NPP and district 3 lawmaker, George Mulbah, Friday said the Liberian leader would use her influence with Barclay to restore good relations between the two lawmakers.

"We met with the President Thursday to discuss a host of issues regarding the county and key among them was how the President intends to reconcile the rivalry between the two female lawmakers," Mulbah said.

Disagreements bordering on political attachments have brought a lot of strain on the relation between Barclay and Howard-Taylor since 2011.

The largely muted faceoff blew open in October 2011 when Howard-Taylor reportedly supported her office staffer, Fahlon Gbakoyah, to contest against Barclay on charges of misrepresentation.

But despite the odds, Rep. Barclay was overwhelmingly re-elected for the second term.

Sen. Howard-Taylor has desired to seek a second term but has only managed to receive support from two of the nine members of the Bong County legislative caucus: Rep. Edward Karfiah of District #5 and senate mate Henry Yallah, both are members of the New Deal Movement.

The remaining seven members of the caucus including Rep. Barclay have remained visibly indisposed in endorsing Sen. Howard-Taylor's re-election. This has led to the formation of the "Anti Jewel Campaign" in Fuamah and Sanoyea districts (electoral District #7) under the alleged supervision of Rep. Barclay.

The two lawmakers had in recent time been trading claims and counter-claims regarding who was responsible for the unrest in Bong Mines.

Rep. Barclay accused Sen. Howard-Taylor of being behind the intrigues, saying: "All of the things happening in Bong Mines are the makings of Jewel. She wants to paint the caucus bad," she said.

But Sen. Howard-Taylor refuted the charge, claiming that the District #7 lawmaker is playing game with the people of the district. "Corpu should stop blaming others about her wrongs," she said.

Rep. Barclay is widely believed to be sponsoring the Deputy Minister of Operations at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ranney Jackson, who a member of the UP, against Sen. Howard-Taylor.

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