Liberia: CDC Gray Descends On VP Taylor

Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor

It appears like stewards of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government, have begun descending on Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor after the latter refused to receive protesters petition on June 7, citing illness days after it was agreed that she would have received same on behalf of the government.

One of such individuals to begin throwing stones at Mrs. Taylor, an estranged, wife of jailed ex-president Charles Taylor is Rep. Moses Acarus Gray. Rep Gray says expressed his unhappiness with VP Taylor over her failure to receive protesters' petition to government on Friday, 7 June. "You know me, I'm a blunt guy, but actually I am not happy with her," Rep. Gray said Monday, 10 June in response to a talk show host's question in Monrovia if he was not happy with Vice President Taylor.

"But you ask me whether I am hundred percent satisfied with her? No, I am not," he adds.

His comments come in the midst of blame shifting between pro - government and protest supporters over the failure of the Council of Patriots (COP) to present its petition to government on June 7.

In the week leading to the June 7 protest, speculations emerged in the media here that President George Manneh Weah had allegedly told the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mediating delegation that his vice president was supporting the protest.

But the government denied and dismissed the rumor and subsequently announced through the media here that instead of President Weah, Vice President Taylor, was designated to receive the protesters' petition.

None of the two leaders could receive the petition, as government lately presented a delegation comprising Justice Minister Musa Dean, Foreign Minister Milton Findley, Bomi Rep. Edwin Snowe and ECOWAS Envoy BabatundeAjisomo for the protesters to present their petition.

But it did not work after it emerged lately during the protest that the protesters wanted some of their members held in police custody to be released before they could proceed further.

Thousands of aggrieved Liberians took part in what is seen to be one of the most peaceful protests conducted here demanding that President Weah publish his assets, address the bad state of the economy, alleged corruption and dismiss and prosecute Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Executive Governor NathanielPatray, among others.

The protesters led by the Council of Patriots and supported by Liberia's four collaborating opposition political parties have given the government one month to address a long list of demands which will determine their next course of action.

Regarding Vice President Taylor's health issue, Rep. Gray says he cannot speak to report that Vice President Taylor is sick, noting that he got report that she was not well.He, however, notes that it is for the office of the vice president to speak, adding that he has his personal views that he did not want to express.

Reacting to the COP's demands, Gray thinks that all of the demands and presentation made by the protesters look like they are telling the government that it doesn't understand its function, and must therefore be instructed by someone else to execute protesters' political manifesto.

He suggests that it looks like having a figure-headed leader that is being ordered around by another person to execute certain things in one month, with a threat by that person to come after the leader upon failure to heed to the mandate.Though Rep. Gray thinks that the protesters may have some concerns, he however, insists that "No government succumbs to that."

"Look, let me tell you, when you make a demand and say effective immediately today, and the government gives in, tomorrow again, you'll come with another demand," Rep. Gray argues.

Further responding to the protesters' call for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court here, Gray observes that some of the lawmakers that support the protest could submit a bill seeking the establishment of the court, but not necessarily the president."Any of our colleagues, even one person can submit that bill," he says, and claims that "people" feel that they want to tie the hands of President Weah so they are pushing the burden of establishing the court on him.By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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