Liberia: Is LPDP Sliding Out of the CDC?



— Tyler debunks Morlu’s claims that the LPDP has signed the new Coalition document

Despite a high level representation of the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) at the re-nomination of President George Weah as the standard bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change, the LPDP political leader of the Alex J. Tyler says he is not aware of his party being a part of any coalition since the last one he consummated with the Congress for Democratic Change and the National Patriotic Party (NPP) expired November last year.

“I’m yet to renew or sign the agreement or coalition document for the impending elections. The one we had expired November 2022,” the former speaker of the House of Representative said on the night of January 4, hours after the event. “Up to the time before I left the country, we had not yet reached an agreement to sign or reach the resolution of our party.”

The CDC had three parties, which include; Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), the Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP) of former House Speaker Alex Tyler and the National Patriotic Party (NPP) of Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor.

But Tyler expressed shock to learn that his party has affixed her signature to the new framework document, which he said is not possible because he should have been the one to commit the party to such an arrangement.

“I have not done that,” he said. “I heard this evening that our party got the resolution. I want to inform the public that we do not have a coalition. It’s a whole process because members of the party can agree and now the leaders can go ahead to sign but this is yet to be done.”

While the former Bomi County lawmaker has expressed lack of knowledge of his party’s being a member of the new coalition arrangement; it is the LPDP Chairman, Moses Y. Kollie, who raised the motion for the President to be re-nominated — a motion that was seconded by NPP’s political leader and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor.

It was even on the basis of Kollie’s presence and role at the ceremony, that witnessed the convergence of mammoth crowds across Monrovia and its environs, that the Chairman of the Coalition, Mulbah Morlu, presented a framework document to President Weah, indicating that the three original constituent members had again reposed their confidence in him to steer the affairs of the coalition and the nation.

Morlu refuted allegations that the Coalition was on the brink of collapse when he presented a re-nomination document to President Weah.

“Mr. President, we have come as a coalition to let you know that your people (the three parties making up the Coalition) have agreed in unison and have declared that there is no vacancy for the Presidency in October 2023,” he said. “With this document, they have come in one word to assure you of your continuity on the ticket to secure another six years.”

He added, “The LPDP is represented by its National Chairman Moses Y. Kollie and the NPP by the NPP by Madam Vice President, Jewel Howard Taylor.”

But an adamant Tyler noted on the Spoon Talk-show that in order to have a coalition, there has to be a mini retreat of the parties wishing to join and the presence of the National Elections Commission (NEC) but nothing like such has happened as well.

“There has been no retreat or anything of such,” he said. “I told my people that I am not going to sign any document binding us to stay together because of the way we were treated. The treatment will be different this time around. I have made this clear to my partisans and the chairman of our party. Even members of CDC and the NPP can attest to this information and I am very clear.”

He said the NEC does not have any document currently in its possession to show that a coalition binds the CDC, NPP and LPDP or bringing them together for the 2023 elections. 

Tyler said if his party got the two-thirds of its membership, it still does not indicate that a coalition is formed until the leaders can meet and sign documents in the presence of NEC and copy submitted to NEC which is a complete process.

He said it’s unfair for anyone to state that a coalition does exist currently among the three parties (CDC, NPP and LPDP). Tyler said his party had a meeting on Thursday which was an executive committee meeting and did not make a resolution or two-thirds from the membership.

“As a matter of fact, the parties have been discussing a framework document leading to a new coalition document. The way the two parties were treated is an open secret. There were problems in getting that to happen,” Tyler said.

Tyler however said he heard this evening that LPDP got the resolution and has signed.

The original framework document between NPP, CDC and LPDP  signed by the three parties in November 2016 and expired in November 2022.