After nearly 10 years membership, Rep. Edwin Melvin Snowe, Jr. announced on Tuesday, June 30 that he parted ways with the Unity Party (UP) with immediate effect.
While there has not been any “definite reason” for his resignation, a close friend, who begged for anonymity said, “Rep. Snowe has penned he has no issue but is constrained to resign to revert to become an independent.”
According to another source close to Rep. Snowe, the popular Bomi County Legislator resigned from the UP due to the party’s refusal to pick former Bomi County senator, Lahai Lansanna, over current senator Sando Johnson who, according to party sources, recently crossed over to the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), through the All Liberian Party of former businessman-turned-politician, Benoni Urey. Sources hinted the Daily Observer last night said that Snowe contested the decision from members of the CPP without his in out as an executive members of the Unity Party.
Representative Snowe’s pick for the Bomi County senatorial seat is former Senator Lahai Lansanna over Senator Johnson, who was still a member of the Coalition of Democratic Change-CDC until his last-minute crossover to the CPP. According to our source, it was earlier agreed by the executive committee of the UP to carry former senator Lansanna in the impending December 8 mid-term elections but said decision was changed in the last minute, following the crossing over of Senator Johnson to the CPP.
Representative Snowe, during an interview on Truth FM nearly three weeks ago, spoke highly about former Senator Lansanna’s support to many ongoing projects in Bomi county.
The Departure of Snowe from the Unity Party may come as a surprise but it was something inevitable. The bad blood, between Snowe and his party, which has been building in recent days, came as a result of the collaborating political party which the lawmaker’s party is party of not supporting his choice for the Bomi Senatorial seat Lahai Lansanna. Rather, that of Sendo Johnson, a political foe to the lawmaker, who recently joined the All Liberian Party of Benoi Urey, who is chairman emeritus of the CPP.
As a key financial and influential member of the CPP, Benoi Urey is backing his old friend from the NPP, Sendo Johnson’s re-election bid, hoping that he can better position his party’s standing in the CPP. The bad blood between Johnson and Snowe started in 2017, when the latter decided to run for Representative seat for Bomi County District #1. At that time, Johnson took issue with Snowe and sued him to Supreme Court claiming that Snowe was not eligible to contest in the county because he was not a permeant resident of the constituency. However, the Supreme Court threw out the case and, since then, both men have become serious political adversary. Snowe’s support of Lahai Lansanna, according to political pundits is a payback for Sen. Johnson actions in 2017. With his strong financial backing, Snowe wants to prove to Sen. Johnson that he (Snowe) is a political heavyweight and should not be played with.
Snowe, a former UP stalwart, participated in the recent UP Caucus meeting that took place on Thursday, June 25, with the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Rep. Snowe’s resignation on Tuesday coincided with the one year anniversary of being of the President George M. Weah’s delegation to the ECOWAS Summit of Heads of States of Government. Rep. Snowe was part of President Weah’s delegation to attend the 2019 ECOWAS Summit of Heads of States and Governments.
Snowe was elected as Representative since October 2005 and served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from January 2006 to February 2007.
In 2005, he was elected as Montserrado County District #5 Representative; in 2011 as District #6 Representative and in 2017 as Bomi County District #1 Representative.
Prior to becoming a lawmaker, he became the son-in-law of Charles Taylor, who was President of Liberia from 1997 to 2003, and was a prominent figure under his government, most notably as Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC). He also served as the President of the Liberia Football Association.
Snowe narrowly survived an attempt to have him removed from his position as Speaker in January 2007 following a bribery case against him. However, a few days later, the Supreme Court ordered him to be reinstated, pending Snowe’s appeal. According to Snowe, the regular setting of the house was unconstitutional and was illegal; he alleges that some votes against him were obtained through bribery and that the matter was not legitimate because it did not occur in a city, as required by the constitution. On 29 January, the Supreme Court ruled in Snowe’s favor, describing his removal as unconstitutional. However, the legislators who attempted to vote Snowe out of his position reportedly intended to again attempt to remove him by holding another vote.
The “reinstated Speaker” resigned on Thursday, 15 February 2007 on grounds that he would not go to the township of Virginia for Legislative matters in keeping with article 40 of the Liberian Constitution which states: Neither House shall adjourn for more than five days without the consent of the other and both Houses shall always sit in the same city.
In March 2020, Snowe was appointed to chair the ECOWAS Parliamentary Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism by the speaker of ECOWAS Parliament Sidie Mohammed Tunis of Sierra Leone. He is head of the Liberian Delegation to ECOWAS.
Besides being a member of the Liberian Delegation and Head, he is the chairman on Foreign Affairs and member of the House’s Public Account and Expenditure Committee as well as the Budget Committee.
Rep. Snowe will now sit as an ‘Independent Lawmaker’ in the Legislature representing the residents of Bomi County District #1, until rumor of him joining the ruling party is confirmed.
It maybe recalled, as UP partisan, Rep. Snowe, the UP Caucus chairman, Rep. Bill Tweahway (who is now with the CDC and heading the Freeport) along with 12 Representatives endorsed the Senatorial bid of Mr. George M. Weah in 2014 in the House’s first floor conference room.