By: Frank P. Martin
MONROVIA: Members of a consortium of women groups of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) have accused officials of the ruling Party of undermining the credibility and integrity of the just-ended CDC Montserrado County District 12 Primary elections.
The groups said the intent of any political primary in a participatory democracy is for selected delegates of a party to decide the political fate of their partisans who might be opting for higher public offices through vigorous in-house process (primary).
The aggrieved CDC women groups, however, disclosed that this intent was abused allegedly by the CDC Primary Committee by awfully imposing on the District an unpopular aspirant who is not favored by citizens of the district.
Such action allegedly carried out by the CDC Primary Committee, according to the aggrieved women, will limit the ruling party’s chances of winning the coveted representative seat of District# 12, Montserrado County in the 10, October Presidential and Legislative elections.
The women groups, under the umbrella of “Distinguished Women of Electoral District 12 (DWD)”, pointed accusing fingers at CDC Youth League Chair, Emmanuel Johnson; and Randolph Dobayou for allegedly presiding over what the women described as “brutal and staged managed primary” process that didn’t allow them to freely and transparently exercise their political franchise.
The “Distinguished Women of Electoral District 12” comprises over 15 CDC women groupings in the district with a focus to produce a CDC representation at the House of Representatives comes October 10, 2023.
The CDC partisans, at a press conference held over the weekend in Monrovia, expressed dissatisfaction over the outcome of the primary in Montserrado County District 12.
The women named their candidate in said election as Atty. Henry Wokolo, one of the Legal Advisors of the party in the district.
The outcome of the primary shows that Atty. Wokolo got 35 votes while his opponent, Prince Kreplah, received 250 of the total votes cast.
However, the women groups alleged that during the voting process, partisans of the 10 constituent parties of the ruling Coalition were denied the right to freely exercise their constitutional franchise as enshrined in the constitution of the CDC.
Astonishingly, the women disclosed that after the debate, the CDC primary committee, headed by the CDC National Youth League Chair, Emmanuel Johnson, allowed one of the candidates, Kreplah, to remain in the room where ballots were cast, even though the primary committee had earlier warmed candidates to leave the pooling center prior to the commencement of results.
Reading a prepared statement, on behalf of thousands of women who gathered in Chicken Soup Factory Community, Madam Roseline Y. Flomo, President of the women claimed that Prince Kreplah who was declared winner of the Primary was seen ushering in delegates believed to be his supporters as Emmanuel Johnson and his team did nothing about this violation of the primary rules.
“While the process was still ongoing, candidate Prince Kreplah took the macro-Phone and told delegates that the process was over as if to say he was a member of the primary committee at the dismay of delegates”, Madam Flomo also told crowd of disenchantment CDCians.
Therefore, the women groups have therefore, called on President George Manneh Weah and the national leadership of the ruling CDC to overturn the results from the district 12 primary to avoid losing the seat to opposition candidate in the October polls.
However, a member of the CDC Primary Committee, who prefers not to be named because he is not clothed with the duty to speak for the CDC Primary Committee, challenged the claims made by the women groups.
The CDC Primary official indicated the process was free, fair and credible and that Atty. Wokolo, prior to the primary in the district failed to do his political homework in the district for which he was massively rejected by the CDC delegates who participated in the process.
The latest protest from CDC District 12 primary is one of such protests from other primaries being conducted by the ruling CDC wherein alleged acts of fraud had been raised by contestants.
There have been several organizations and individuals of the party who had raised similar red flag on how the party’s primaries are being allegedly jostled against the interest of delegates.
Supporters of Liberia’s famous international movie star, Frank Artus, raised similar concern in Montserrado County District 7, averring that could lead to the CDC losing many seats in the legislature.
A sitting Lawmaker of Montserrado County could not also hid his feeling regarding the primary process on how he was allegedly targeted by certain officials of the Party who he claims are bent on undermining his re-election by fielding a candidate against him.
Such move, Rep. Jimmy Smith said is contrary to previous agreement held with the party’s national leaders.