Liberia: CDC Crisis Deepens in Bong as Two Factions Hold Separate Endorsement Programs for Pres. Weah

Gbarnga, Bong County

The crisis in the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Bong County chapter is morphing into a dimension that has the capacity to threaten its chances of winning the county in the 2023 presidential elections if not well managed.

By Selma Lomax, [email protected]

On Saturday, the crisis took a turn for the worse when Rep. Marvin Cole of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) and Sayblee Weyea, chairman of the Congress of Democratic Change – two members of the Coalition for Democratic Change – had separate programs to endorse President George Weah ‘s second term bid.

Partisans of the Coalition were left confused on Saturday as to which program to attend, after Weyea had called on his supporters to converge at the David Kuyoun Sports Stadium to attend a program he organized, following Cole’s announcement to his supporters to attend his program at his party’s headquarters in Gbarnga.

Weyea, who has announced his intentions to contest against Cole in October, accuses the lawmaker of “undermining” the party in the county for his personal aggrandizement. But Cole refuted Weyea’s allegations and described him as “ungrateful” character who’s benefiting from his recommendation to become the county’s Labor Commissioner.

“History will be kind to us for recommending few of our partisans in Bong County for jobs in this government. Sayblee Weyea is one classic example of those I have recommended in this government,” he said.

“He’s being pushed by some people within the Congress of Democratic Change to disrespect me despite all I have done in this county for the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change. If elections were held today for the seat of District Three he’s no match to me. From the day I was elected I have and continue to be engaged with my people. I’m not worried about someone who can’t influence his sibling to vote for him,” he added.

Cole’s influence in Bong County appears to be unmatched since his election in 2017. He’s seen as the “face” of the CDC in the county.

Internal squabble may hurt CDC

The CDC Bong chapter is facing internal wrangling less than two years after losing the 2020 senatorial election in Bong – its third defeat in the county since the 2017 presidential and legislative elections.

For now, there are fears among the party sympathisers that the current internal wrangling may affect the party’s chances in Bong County if the party does not put its house in order in the coming months.

“The crisis bedevilling in the ruling party, and if not put into check, may destroy the party completely. It is obvious that the party lacks a crisis management mechanism which is needed for party cohesion in a democratic setting,” said one partisan. 

Similarly, observers have raised their concerns, especially on the seeming silence of the Vice President and native of the county Jewel Howard-Taylor on the way forward.

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