‘Free Ride’ Awaits Dillon, If

-Reported Rift In Ruling CDC Intensifies Ahead of December 8; Pundits Say Lack of Trust in Primaries Will Lead To Breakaway

By Reuben Sei Waylaun

This paper has reliably gathered that the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) stands to give ‘free ride’ to incumbent Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon if aspirants and the executives of the party cannot find remedies to reported rifts ahead of the December 8, 2020 senatorial elections.

Montserrado County is the political ‘stronghold’ of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) evidenced by results from successive elections since 2005.

The CDC of former soccer legend and now President of Liberia, George Weah has won more legislative seats in Montserrado County. The party has won more senatorial seats in the county since 2005, until it was defeated in 2019 by Senator Abraham Darius Dillon.

Previous winners of the senatorial seats on the CDC’s ticket since 2005 include Joyce Musu Freeman-Sumo, Hannah Brent, the late Geraldine Doe-Sherriff, George Weah, and Saah Joseph of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).

Currently the party occupies more seats in the Legislature from Montserrado County. In 2005, the party won 10 seats out of 14 in the Lower House, 8 seats out of 17 in 2011 and 9 seats out 17 in 2017 respectively which shows the supremacy of the party in Montserrado.

However, since the 2017 legislative and presidential elections, things have changed since then. Senator Saah Joseph of the CDC battled for the Senatorial bye-elections, but political pundits said he won because of his own prestige from the Ebola Virus Disease fight where he played a significant role and was referred to as ‘Ebola Hero’.

The CDC massively campaigned for John Weah in District#13, but he was later defeated by Edward P. Flomo, an independent candidate who CDCians later claimed.

According to the 2008 housing and population census, the county has about 1.1 million inhabitants, making it the most populated county in the country.

Montserrado County also has 777,503 registered voters in the most recent voters registration exercise. This means the county is the heart beat of any party.

Darius Dillon:

The once ‘stronghold’ of the CDC has now been captured by Abraham Darius Dillon of the Liberty Party by extension the Collaborating Political Parties since 2019.

Senator Dillon was heavily supported by four leading opposition political parties that had now conglomerated themselves into one; called the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP). They include the Alternative National Congress, Unity Party, Liberty and the All Liberian Party.

Besides, some political parties, Liberians and members of the ruling establishment massively voted Dillon against the CDC’s candidate, Paulita C. C. Wie with Dillon winning 102,549 to madam Wie 63,971 out of the total 186,978 votes.

Later, some of the voters who claimed to be cedicians said they voted against their own candidate in ‘anger’ due to what they called the ‘poor governance’ of the state by the government they brought to power in a resounding victory.

Since his victory to the senatorial seat of Montserrado County, Senator Dillon who campaigned on ‘shining the light’ on the deeds of the Senate is said to have gained so much admirations from large numbers of the voting populace in the county that the CDC is reportedly rolling its sleeves to reclaim the once ‘stronghold.’

Senator Dillon who has been a vocal opposition figure in the Liberian Senate is said to be the main focus of the governing CDC in the impending senatorial elections.

According to insiders, the major focus of the CDC in the impending elections is to reclaim Montserrado County.

President George Weah has repeatedly said there is a need to reclaim Montserrado County from the opposition community.

Besides, the political leader of the CDC, other executives of the party, including Representatives Moses Acarous Gray, Thomas Fallah, Chairman Mulbah Morlu among others continue to stress the need to reclaim the county.

However, political pundits and some diehard cedicians believe that such quest cannot be achieved with the reported rifts in the party over who to head the ticket in the December 2020 elections.

According to them, the CDC is reportedly sailing in a wrong direction since the issues of primary was announced by the party’s chairman, Mulbah K. Morlu.

CDC in 2017 Elections, Montserrado District#10:

It can be recalled, similar rift resulted into the party losing Montserrado County electoral district #10 to Independent Candidate, now Representative, Yekeh Kolubah, strong critic of President George Weah.

The party fielded now Chairman Mulbah K. Morlu against Julius F. Berrian who was the current Representative on the ticket of the party heading into 2017. The reported division caused the party to miss out on that seat in district ten.

Deputy Minister Jemima Wolokollie vs CDC 2020:

Now, with less than six months to the holding of the elections, the CDC has not presented anybody as its preferred candidate in the elections.

However, the party has announced that it will begin conducting primaries for would be candidates beginning July 15-30, 2020 and it doesn’t allocate seats to candidates.

The party through its chairman Mulbah Morlu has since asked all aspirants to make themselves available for the primaries by going to the process and successful candidates will head the ticket in their respective counties.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commerce Minister Jemima Wolokollie who has since declared her intention to contest on the ticket of the party in the election said she doesn’t believe in the party’s primary because they are marred by frauds.

Appearing on SkyFM recently, Minister Wolokollie said they won’t allow certain individuals to hijack the party and do what they feel.

Minister Wolokollie who believes she’s prepared enough to unseat Senator Dillon said she has better vision than the institution.

Political pundits believe that the statement from Minister Wolokollie is a clear indications of the lapses Liberians and the opposition community continue to ridicule the government for and it is clear that there is a serious rift within the party.

She said “right now, people are only greedy, accumulative and spending the money within the close proximity of where they live… I am part of the party, but I have different vision for this Country.”

“This process has not been transparent from the side of the CDC and I stand by my words. But they will choose me because I am bringing out all the ills that have happened in the party. It is just right to do that. People in Liberia are known for not correcting the wrongs. If we keep doing the same things over and over we are going to get the same results over and over,” she is also quoted by FPA recently.

Representative Thomas P. Fallah, Mont. District Five:

Montserrado County electoral district five Representative Thomas P. Fallah is said to be the favorite among cedeceans because they believe his name is a household name than Deputy Minister Jemima Wolokollie, although he hasn’t publicly announced his intention for the seat.

Representative Fallah has been a member of the Legislature on the ticket of the CDC since 2005 and he is the current chairman of the House’s Ways, Means, Finance, Budget and Development Planning committee. Of late, he has been touring some communities making donations.  

Rep. Acarous Moses Gray Resigned His Position As National Vice Chair for Political Affairs:

A diehard and staunch executive member of the party, Montserrado County electoral district eight Representative Acarous Moses Gray late Saturday June 27, 2020 resigned from his position as National Vice Chairman for Political Affairs.

According to OkayFM, Rep. Gray resigned over reported differences in the party. When contacted, Representative Gray said the party will officially speak on the issue.

It is also reported that Rep. Gray was eyeing the senatorial seat of Montserrado County, but wasn’t considered as the favorite by the party’s executives.

The Good News: Three Senators Joined the party on June 27, 2020:

Senators Henry Yallah-Bong, Victor Watson-Grand Cape Mount and George Tengbeh-Lofa Counties joined the party on June 27, 2020 ahead of the impending elections. The three senators are re-contesting in their respective counties comes December 8, 2020.

Liberians and Political Analysts:

Meanwhile, Liberians and political analysts believe that if the governing CDC cannot resolve it reported rifts, incumbent Senator Dillon will have a free ride in the most populous county.

Currently some members of the coalition, especially NPP are annoyed over the idea of conducting primaries across the country for would be candidates.

They said such decision is an abrogation of the Memorandum of Understanding that brought the National Patriotic (NPP), Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP) and the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) together.

Article 7 of the MOU: ‘Terms and Conditions of the Coalition’ Section (g) states “That parties to the Coalition which have seats in the legislature shall reserve the right to nomination to the seat. In constituencies where the Coalition members don’t have seats, the candidates that provide the best option for victory shall be considered as the Coalition’s nominees”
The MOU clearly states that wherever the coalition has an incumbent lawmaker, only that incumbent lawmaker’s party has the sole right to place candidate in that electoral district or County.

Historically, opposition parties had been dominance in winning the senatorial seat in Montserrado County, but only December 8, 2020 will determine who owns the county.

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