The Coalition for Democracy Change (CDC), which sprang out of its ancestral Congress for Democratic Change, draws much of its political strength from quasi-military posturing since it is unarguably the biggest masses-based party in Liberia’s political history. While in opposition, demonstrations and protests or the threat of them was the CDC’s most notable bargaining chip in the Liberian political theater. As a ruling party following 12 years of struggle at which time its partisans were often in khakis and muftis, hooting slogans and battle cries here and there, the CDC is now confronted with the art of politics already in its DNA. It was not a surprise that on Monday, April 15, the entire CDC government, led by President George M. Weah, emptied itself into its Congo Town headquarters perhaps to rehearse or simply bath in the nostalgia of protest politics ahead of threats by opposition elements attempting to take that version of politicking to its doorstep in June. But as The Analyst reports, organizers of the arguably hugest political gathering of CDCians since President Weah’s inauguration would not say exactly why the meeting, characterized by fanfare and what appear to be a war dance, was called in the first place.
Apparently concerned about the June 7, 2019 protest of the Coalition of Collaborating Opposition Parties, the governing council of ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) convened in camera meeting to discuss how the young government should handle the pending opposition protests.
Prior to the convening of the meeting, the Chairman of the CDC, Mulbah Morlu addressed throngs of partisans of the CDC who had gathered in festive and bellicose moods, chanting battle cries and slogans.
Morlu indicated that while the ruling establishment accepts peaceful protests, the government will not tolerate violence.
Prior to the meeting, Representative Thomas Fallah of Montserrado County District #5 and Public Works Minister Mobutu Nyenpan led jubilant partisans celebrating around the CDC Headquarters.
It was at about 4:00 pm when the CDC’s “Country Giant”, President George Weah, entered the party headquarters triggering high pitches of zealous partisans chanting of slogans and spreading lappers as the entire place was seen politically charged.
Then the crème de la- crème of the party retired with their First Partisan, President Weah, in a closed door meeting.
What was discussed actually was a guess as all partisans and senior executives remained tightlipped at the end of the meeting.
All that was heard was that “President Weah presided over the big CDC Governing Council meeting at which Party coalition officials & cabinet ministers were in attendance.
With everyone tightlipped as they quietly walked out, newsmen were only left to toy with the pre-meeting statement made by the Chairman of the CDC, Mr. Mulbah Molue, who sounded a caveat that the opposition risks grave consequences should their protest turn violent.
Chairman Morlu said the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change has welcomed peaceful protest by the opposition political parties, but cautioned against any violent act which has the propensity to undermine the democracy and peace of the country.
Morlu asserted that protest is a constitutional right of every citizen in the country, but it should be done in a peaceful manner as violent actions by any Liberian will not be condoned by the government of the Coalition for Democratic Change.
CDC Chairman Morlu said he was disappointed with the Standard Bearer of the All-Liberian Party, Benoni Urey for statement attributed to him that they, the Collaborating Opposition Parties, would respond with violence should the governing Coalition for Democratic Change exhibit violence against the protesters.
Morlu said such statement gives reason why members of the CDC should withdraw from subscribing with the LoneStar MTN in Liberia.
He accentuated that CDCians’ subscription with the LoneStar Communications would financially empower Urey to sponsor protest marches against the CDC government.
“The CDC has more membership that would give the LoneStar much finances. We will ensure that our partisans cut off their subscription with the LoneStar, so that the likes of Urey will not seize the opportunity to undermine the government with protest action,” Morlu asserted.
The though-talking chairman of the CDC indicated that President Weah is a peaceful Liberian who continues to contribute to the peace that Liberian currently enjoyed.
He further said the Liberian leader was appointed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Peace Ambassador due to his peaceful character exhibited over the years.
“While they are going on with their protest, we as a government will remain focus on development,” Morlu added. The CDC Chairman indicated that the party will put up a candidate for the Senatorial by-election for Montserrado County.
The second person who spoke to media was Rep. Thomas P. Fallah. He was emphatic in stating that no opposition leader can win President George Weah at the polls, naming the Alternative National Congress (ANC) standard-bearer Alex Cummings, Liberty Party’s Charles Brumskine and All-Liberian Party’s Benoni Urey.
Fallah, who did not name the Unity Party’s Joseph Boakai, said all of the politicians have been tested and have never done well, saying “Alexander Cummings can never win a seat for paramount chief.”
The meeting was dominated by partisans’ parade in the fence of their headquarters.
Young people moved up and down the headquarters while the party’s 2017 campaign songs were blitzing from huge loudspeakers, sending crowds of partisans and government officials in a frenzy of dance and celebration—invoking the electoral mood even in passersby.