Three major opposition political parties, on Wednesday, the eve of Thanksgiving Day, signed a historic coalition, or an alliance to merge, with an exceptional consideration to ‘pick’ the Standard Bearer and Vice Standard Bearer.
This first-of-a-kind-partnership was signed among the leading opposition party, Congress for Democratic Change (CDC); former ruling party, the National Patriotic Party (NPP), and the youngest among them, the Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP), at the headquarters of the CDC in Congo Town, culminating in what is now known as the Coalition for Democratic Change (the Coalition).
According to the ‘Article of Collaboration,’ the parties agreed that the standard bearer and the vice standard bearer will not come from the same party; and that the main opposition party, CDC, shall nominate the standard bearer.
“That the Standard Bearer of the Coalition shall choose his/her running mate from any of the other parties from the Coalition,” the document said.
As for the administration of the coalition, it will be managed by a Governing Council and Executive Committee.
The Governing Council will comprise the Standard Bearer and Vice Standard Bearer, the parties’ Political Leaders, Chairmen, Secretary Generals and three eminent members from each party. The Executive Committee will comprise the Chairmen of the three political parties, and one of the three shall be the chairman of the coalition. The other two shall be Vice Chairman and Secretary General respectively.
The three Secretary Generals of the parties will be the three deputy secretary generals of the coalition, for Administration, Operation and Press/Public Affairs, respectively. There will also be three wings, Golden Generation, Jubilee Generation and the Millennium Generation.
The ‘Article of Collaboration’ also says the sitting members of the Legislature of the Coalition will reserve the right of nomination to the seat, and should vote as a ‘bloc’ on major issues that affect national concerns.
Finally, if the Coalition shall win in the 2017 Elections, their members shall be considered as first preference in job employment in the National Unity Government.
In separate statements the chairmen of the parties’ respective Legislative Caucuses, Rep. George Wesseh Blamoh (LPDP), Rep. James Biney (NPP) and Rep. Thomas Fallah (CDC) pledged their commitment.
For his part, Rep. Biney disclosed that the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration has accrued about US$1.2 billion in debts, and the House of Representatives, especially members of the Coalition won’t endorse the ratification of further financial deals.
“Even if we return for an extraordinary session, we will ensure that there will be no more ratification of financial agreements,” Rep. Biney said.
For the political leaders, Rep. Tyler of LPDP called for a ‘new day’ in the political landscape and said he has forgiven what transpired at the Legislature that caused his removal and said ‘a chicken must not be given an eagle’s task.’
Mr. Nathaniel Barnes of the NPP said he is optimistic that the opposition will overwhelmingly win in the 2017 elections, a hope buttressed by eminent NPP partisan John Gray.
For his part, Senator George Weah said he’s sincerely hopeful that “hope is alive that come 2017 Elections, the opposition parties will win to annihilate the suffering of the Liberian people.”
During the signing ceremony on Wednesday, Secretary Generals and the Chairmen of the three political parties, affixed their respective signatures, while the Political Leaders of the CDC and LPDP also affixed their signatures. The Political Leader of NPP, Sen. Jewel Howard Taylor, was absent.
A convention of the new coalition – the Coalition for Democratic Change – for the nomination and selection of the standard and vice standard bearer, as well as the Governing Council and Executive Committee, will be announced later, they said.