The Liberia National Police disclosed it has held a meeting with the leadership of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) ahead of the party’s rally today.
Today’s rally, according to the CDC, is to petition Senator George Weah to run for president in the 2017 elections.
The LNP said it wants the party to adhere to details of the discussion on today’s march, which among other things calls for the free flow of traffic and avoiding acts that will impede the free movement of people during CDC’s program.
A police statement issued yesterday said an agreement was reached between the police and the CDC that there will be no interference with the traffic during the time of the march, to which the CDC has agreed, saying it will provide party workers to assist with crowd control.
The police said due to congestion on many streets in Monrovia, it has informed the CDC to bus or truck their partisans to their headquarters to avoid impeding both human and motor vehicle traffic.
According to the LNP, its interaction with the CDC was based upon a letter addressed to the Ministry of Justice, in which the CDC informed the Ministry of its desire to seek police protection for today’s program.
The LNP has therefore encouraged the party to live up to the details of the meeting to avoid “unforeseen circumstances.”
As for other political parties, the LNP said it has also encouraged them to engage the police whenever the need arises, as the police remain open to provide protection to all groups or individuals regardless of status.
Meanwhile, since 2005, the CDC has continued to pull large crowds during rallies, demonstrating football legend George Weah’s popularity with the youth.
The George Weah-Rudolph Johnson ticket in 2005 took the party to a run-off with the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-Joseph Boakai ticket of the Unity Party (UP).
The UP won the runoff and the victory nearly erupted into chaos, with the CDC crying foul, but Providence allowed the intervention of the international community to defuse the tension.
Six years later, the CDC, which remained the major opposition party, again went to a runoff with the UP. Weah ran again, but as vice standard bearer to Ambassador Winston Tubman. The poll again went into a runoff, with Weah losing out on the nation’s second highest seat.
A day before the runoff elections, the CDC stormed the streets of Monrovia and Paynesville to warn the government and the international community that the party would not accept the results from the runoff elections to be held on November 8, 2011.
The rally – pulling thousands of sympathizers – ended in a bloody demonstration, which the CDC has termed: “CDC Massacre Day.”
The CDC believed that what occurred at their compound was an assassination attempt on Amb. Winston Tubman and George Weah. There were at least three deaths, and many wounded.
Three years later, Weah ran for the Senate and pulling a huge crowd, convincingly won the elections for Montserrado County with a “very wide and historic margin” between him and the President’s son, Robert Sirleaf.
Again, this would be the CDC’s sixth rally (two times each in 2005 and 2011; once in 2014) with a few years to the 2017 presidential elections.