With barely four months in office, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor is said to have fallen short of respecting the office of President George Weah, more so during her travels outside the country.
VP Taylor on Monday morning [May 14] admitted on the Truth Breakfast Show (TBS), at a local radio station, to wrongdoing in cases of traveling at her own discretion and without the knowledge of President Weah. At the same time, she begged for compassion and forgiveness, with a promise never to repeat such acts, which are said to be disproportionate to democracy, and has called for consultations on relevant matters at all times.
According to the Vice President, her constant travels without informing the President contributed to some misunderstandings between her and her boss, but she said the situation has been “amicably resolved.”
She however said as Vice President, she is the face of women on the continent, especially so after former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has already left power and “I would, therefore, have to make representations on [the women’s] behalf.”
She promised to be an obedient and law-abiding VP, hoping that President Weah forgive her for the misstep.
Prior to the development, there were public speculations of friction between Taylor and Weah, both of whom are the first two representations of the country. Some pundits have also argued that trust may seem to be a very costly commodity between the two leaders.
Ardent Liberian followers on social media, including Martin Scott, expressed disappointments in VP Taylor for being so careless about the need to respect the fact that the monies she has used in her recent trips came from taxpayers, who want the best for their country, rather than seeing her showcasing herself each time as a beauty pageant queen in other countries.
“Every time you read the papers, you see VP Taylor, all dressed up, in exotic African attire, in a foreign country. And the Liberian media cover her trip in detail, with a straight face, so that the Liberian people back home can think that she’s doing something for them, but she’s actually doing nothing,” Scott posted.
VP Taylor’s National Patriotic Party (NPP) joined the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) of former Speaker of the House of Representatives Alex J. Tyler, to form a coalition with Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) in 2016, for the purpose of winning the 2017 presidential elections.
Since their ascendancy to power, members of the NPP have complained of marginalization by the coalition government, saying they are not prioritized in appointments.
On what power and control the president has, Article 50 of the Constitution says, “The Executive Power of the Republic shall be vested in the President who shall be the Head of State, Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia.”
Article 51, on the other hand, says, “There shall be a Vice–President who shall assist the President in the discharge of his or her functions.”