Philadelphia, PA USA – Reports from the Liberian capital Monrovia say four political parties in the small West African nation have been holding “merger talks” in order to support incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai against his Presidential challenger and leader of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Senator George Weah.
According to a senior source with knowledge of the matter, the merger discussion took place Tuesday, November 7th, the same day planned for run off elections between the two contenders who are hoping to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who is stepping down after two full terms.
The talks include the Liberty Party(LP) led by Senator Charles Walker Brumskine whose party filed a petitition with the country’s highest court complaining of “fraud and irregularities” in the October 10th Presidential and General Elections and to stop the run- off elections between incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP) and Senator George Weah of the CDC.
According to party Chairman of the ruling UP Mr. Robert Kpadeh, ” …What you see today is a strong signal to the world that they are coming together to fight for democracy.”We strongly believe that Weah cannot run this country.”
The UP official did not definitely state who the four political parties are that are holding “merger talks.”
The Liberian Supreme Court has come under criticism for halting the run-off elections’; a situation which could potentially lead to a constitutional crisis, if a new date is not set for the run-off elections and the inauguration of a new President when incumbent President Johnson Sirleaf’s term ends in January. The Supreme Court issued a ruling on Monday which effectively halted the run-off elections and instructed the National Elections to expeditiously handle the complaint of the Liberty Party before a new run-off date can be set.
Vice President Joseph Boakai, the candidate of the ruling Party told the AFP, “I had doubts the NEC was competent enough to administer an election that would be free, fair and transparent.” The party itself has accused President Johnson-Sirleaf of interference in the electoral process.
The Unity Party and Alternative National Congress (ANC) have thrown their support behind the Liberty Party’s petition which cites irregularities and fraud.
The emergence of a new coalition front involving the ruling party and other political against parties portends political uncertainty for the immediate future in Liberia including speculation of the installation of an interim government. No political party has so far warmed to the idea of an interim mechanism, citing constitutional succession guarantees.
The CDC says it is concerned that a political crisis could erupt if the Supreme Court annuls the result of the October 10th elections. “We are concerned about attempts by certain members of the Supreme Court’s bench to mis- or wrongfully interpret our constitution, with the view of now creating a constitutional crisis,” CDC Chairman Nathaniel McGill told Bloomberg News by phone. “The election should proceed, that’s what we hope for.”
By Emmanuel Abalo
West African Journal Magazine