What seems to be a serious split in the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is gradually emerging backed with serious internal conflict which if not quickly settle will create a dark cloud for the Party to be re-elected in 2023.
According to a local daily, the New Dawn, the reported brewing trouble within the party followed a recent call by the CDC national chairman Mulbah Morlu on current standard bearer, President George Manneh Weah, to reshuffle his cabinet and address prevailing economic crisis that has led to serious cash shortage in the country, rendering government’s operations ineffective.
But the call did not settle down well with the President, who calls for an abrupt meeting of party executives on late Tuesday, 17 December where he reportedly blasted the entire leadership.
Tuesday‘s night time meeting was held at Mr. Weah’s Jamaica Resort along the Robertsfield Highway opposite Baptist Seminary upon appeal from the Minister of Commercial and Industry, Professor Wilson Tarpeh, a stalwart of the ruling Coalition.
Upon arrival at the Resort, Chairman Morlu sat in the Presiding Chair but was immediately ordered by President Weah to step aside. Instead, the Standard Bearer asked national secretary general, Janga Augustus Kowo to preside.
However, Mr. Weah’s mandate was vehemently resisted by ruling Coalition Lawmaker, Acarous Moses Gray, on grounds that CDC’s constitution says at any meeting of the party, the chairman shall preside or if not present, the Standard Bearer shall chair such gathering of party executives. But President Weah maintains bitterly that the rowdy-talking Chairman Morlu would not preside over the meeting.
Rep. Gray then moves a step further, arguing that since it was a party executive meeting, it should be held at the CDC headquarters in Oldest Congo Town instead rather than the President’s private Resort.
President Weah immediately got annoy, ordering officers the Executive Protection Service to ask Gray out, but both Speaker Bhofal Chambers and Minister Tarpeh intervene, calming Mr. Weah.
Gray then demands that the presidential security should leave the meeting since the issue involves stalwarts of the ruling CDC. However, the Standard Bearer and President of Liberia defends that the EPS officers took oath to defend him (President Weah) at all times and anywhere, and CDC’s meeting is no exception.
President Weah insists Chairman Morlu would not preside or there would be no meeting. Both Gray and Morlu then engage their Standard Bearer in bitter arguments.Sources present at the tense atmosphere, reveal that President Weah vows Morlu will be asked to resign as party chairman, on grounds that he lacks leadership ability to shoulder such huge party.
But Morlu in return, fires back that’s impossible, and that President Weah should be careful about the pending December 30 demonstration by the Council of Patriot.Weah immediately accused Morlu of collaborating with planners of the December 30 protest against his government.
Amid the exchanges between the Chairman and the Standard Bearer, Monrovia City Mayor and Chairman of the CDC National Youth League, Jefferson Koijii, arrives and supports the argument that Morlu should preside in fulfillment of the party’s constitution. At this stage, activities at the Jamaica Resort nearly went at amok.
Since both Janga Kowo and Morlu could not sit in take Presiding Chair due to the argument, Representative Gray, Chairman Morlu and Mayor Koijii walk out of the meeting, leaving the rest of the party executives, including President Weah. Efforts by Minister Tarpeh and Speaker Chambers to bring the rest CDC stalwarts together ended in deadlock.