3 January 2018

Liberia: Jewel Howard Taylor's Supporters Boo 'Unity Party' Gbarnga Mayor

Photo: facebook.com/jewel.howardtaylor
Vice President-elect Jewel Howard Taylor.

Gbarnga — Liberia's first female vice President-elect Jewel Howard Taylor on Sunday thanked the people of Bong County for delivering victory for the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) headed by Senator George Weah.

The CDC won the December 26 run-off election, defeating Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party.

The CDC won with 732,185 which amounted to 61.5 percent while VP Boakai obtained 457, 579 or 38.5 percent of the votes.

Sen. Taylor is touring the county to thank CDC voters.

CDC won Bong County overwhelmingly.

The CDC received 70,668 votes compared to the Unity Party's 39,371 votes.

"To the people of Bong County, I want to say a very big thank you," Sen. Taylor said during the town hall meeting held in Gbanga Sunday where several hundred people gathered.

Sen. Taylor urged county leaders to forget the bitter campaign and focus on working together for the development of the county and Liberia.

She called for reconciliation.

"As I stand on this stage today, if I hurt anyone over the last 12 years, let me say I am sorry," she said.

"There is too much work to be done and we need all hands on deck."

Bong's Superintendent Selena Polson Mappy of the Unity Party joined Taylor in thanking citizens for their support that resulted in Sen. Taylor being the first female vice President from the county.

"I think that Bong County is on the path of unity," she said.

"I am from the opposition camp, whether you like it or not, but we have a political leader now."

She congratulated Taylor and encouraged all citizens of the county to put aside their differences and forge ahead with the development agenda of the county.

Despite all the talk about peace and unity, some people booed Mayor Viola Cooper when she arrived at the event.

Cooper, a UP partisan criticized Taylor for naming a street after her. Cooper and other leaders said the Vice President elect did not consult with citizens before erecting a street sign in her name.

The sign was removed on the order of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court after the city filed a complaint.

Cooper's decision angered CDC partisans.

Representative-elect Marvin Cole of threatened to restore the sign when CDC takes over.

Cooper said she was shocked, considering Taylor's talk about reconciliation.

"I thought it was time for reconciliation but to boo me I was shocked," she said.

Rep. George Mulbah of the People's Unification Party (PUP), said he was invited to the program, but didn't attend because he knew he would not be welcomed.

"To reconcile people is not to be treated that way. I knew Taylor's reconciliation process was not from her heart.

The town hall meeting was attended by cross session of citizens including market women, youth, local county officials as well as traditional leaders among others.

Ansu Sesay, a businessman in Gbarnga and a partisan of Unity Party, hailed Taylor for coming back to the county to congratulate citizens on her election irrespective of political differences. "She proved to everyone of us that the election is over," he said.

Sesay said Taylor's call for peace and together to be the hallmark of the day signaled a new beginning for the county.

Ezekiel Doe, a motorcyclist in Gbarnga and a partisan of the Benoni Urey's All Liberian Party, said Taylor "thank you Bong County" meeting was in the right direction and a move that could unite citizens after an election that divided citizens.

Doe recommended that Taylor organize a peace and reconciliation conference that will bring together citizens from all walks of life and different political parties to reconcile with each other.

Sheik Sheriff, a partisan of Unity Party, praised Taylor for the moved and said it was in the right direction.

He said though he didn't support Taylor and the CDC but her election victory as the vice President-elect is for every citizen.

"This victory is for Bong County regardless of who voted for Taylor or not," he said.

Alvin Zarwolo, a youth of Gbarnga said, coming back to her people trying to talk to preach peace is in the interest of the county.

He said Taylor's ascendency as the first female vice President-elect is a great proud for everyone and must be embraced for the sake of peace.

"The thing is whether you like Senator Taylor or not, she is the vice President and she is from our county," he said.

At the program, the City Mayor of Gbarnga Viola Cooper, was booed at the program.

Cooper, a partisan of the Unity Party, criticized Taylor for erecting a street sign in Gbarnga.

Cooper said Taylor didn't consult with citizens before the street sign was removed after the Ninth Judicial Circuit court ordered the removal of the street the Gbarnga City Corporation lodged a complaint to the court.

Cooper's decision angered partisans of the CDC, with the Representative-elect threatening that she will not be retained when the CDC government takes over.

Cooper, who was invited to speak at the program on Sunday, said she was shocked that partisans of the party booed at her when the vice President-elect was preaching reconciliation.

"I thought it was time for reconciliation but to boo me I was shocked," she said.

Rep. George Mulbah of the People's Unification Party, who was invited at the program but didn't attend, said he was glad that he didn't attend because he knew he would have been treated like Cooper.

"To reconcile people is not to be treated that way. I knew Taylor's reconciliation process was not from her heart.

Liberia

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