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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Early Crack in Liberia’s Opposition CDC – NPP Ends Political Alliance, Tyler’s LPDP Exiting

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The National Patriotic Party (NPP), a key member of the Coalition for Democratic Change, has indicated that they are terminating their political alliance with the coalition led by former President George Manneh Weah. LPDP, the tiny party within the Coalition is also exiting.

Former Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, who serves as the standard-bearer of the NPP, did not attend the announcement. It remains unclear whether she aligns with the decision of the NPP’s Executive Committee.

At the inauguration of the party’s newly refurbished national headquarters in Congo Town, Chief Cyril Allen, chairman emeritus of the NPP, expressed the party’s decision to prioritize their political identity by forming a new coalition while fostering cooperation with other political entities.

Chief Allen highlighted the challenges faced within the existing coalition, stating, “We won the democratic process but did not receive the support needed to achieve our desired objectives.”

The NPP, in collaboration with the Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP), formed an alliance with the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) in 2016, known as the “Grand Coalition.” This coalition successfully secured victory in the 2017 presidential election with Senators George Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor as its candidates. Subsequently, after a six-year tenure, they narrowly lost the recent election to President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and VP Jeremiah Kpan Koung.

As the coalition agreement winds down, two constituent parties have signified their disinterest in continuing or renewing the alliance. The NPP leadership expressed discontent over perceived neglect of their interests within the coalition. Chief Cyril Allen urged party members to revitalize and transform the NPP into a formidable political entity capable of garnering electoral success.

Emphasizing the need for a shift in political strategy, Chief Allen conveyed a message on behalf of former President Charles Taylor, currently incarcerated in the UK for war crimes in Sierra Leone. Taylor endorsed a more inclusive approach within the party, welcoming back founding members who had departed. He urged unity and reconciliation to strengthen the party’s foundation.

In a similar vein, former NPP Chairman James Barney, now Senator of Maryland County, criticized the lack of cabinet representation for the NPP during the Coalition government. Senator Barney advocated for supporting Amb. Boakai in the upcoming elections, citing concerns about the current direction of Liberia under President George Weah’s leadership. He asserted the necessity for the NPP to withdraw from the coalition and reunite under the party leadership to chart a new course.

Senator Barney concluded, “NPP’s strength lies in its commitment to democratic principles. We must reclaim our independence and assert our voice in shaping Liberia’s future. Let us stand resolute in upholding these core democratic values.”

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