MONROVIA– It has been thought of and long forgotten that the main opposition party in Liberia, the Congress for Democratic Change, (CDC)
deposed its Chairman, Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif and consequentially expelled by the Executive Committee for her attempt to have gotten into negotiations to broker a peace deal with the ruling Unity Party to avert her country sliding into yet another war at the discontent of her party which vowed to boycott and disrupt President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s second inauguration by staging a massive demonstration on the day of the inauguration, protesting the controversial elections on grounds of fraud and was boycotted by the opposition CDC which went to a runoff with President Sirleaf’s ruling party, the Unity Party.
What has come as a turn in the purported deposing of the Chairman and her expulsion, was the bringing down of the gavel by the regulatory authority of political parties in Liberia, the National Election Commission decision recognizing Senator Geraldine -Sherif as the legitimate Chairman of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change and the executive head of the party through whom the commission will conduct official business.
A May 9th letter addressed to Senator Doe-Sherif under the signature of the Acting Chairman of the National Election Commission, Jonathan Wheedor, said the Board of Commissioners reached the decision to continuously recognize Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif as the legitimate executive head and Chairman of the opposition party Congress for Democratic Change after the May 3rd meeting with the party’s Secretary General, Rep. Acarous Gray and other leaders of the party in which the Senator was also in attendance.
The Board of Commissioners letter to Sen. Doe-Sherif went further to say they were taking the decision to continuously recognize her as the legitimate Chairman of the party consistent with the election laws of Liberia and in their constitutional authority to regulate political parties in the country, noting “the commission will conduct business with the party through Sen Doe-Sherif, as Chairman and other legitimate officials of the party”.
The commission informed the Montserrado County lawmaker that the Board of Commissioners also communicated with the party through its Secretary General and Representative, Acarous Gray of its decision.
Recognizing Sen. Geraldine Doe -Sherif as the legitimate Chairperson of the opposition CDC is yet another fatal blow to the party’s culture of taking nerve- wrecking decisions without being thoughtful and cognizant of the consequences of their actions, a template which bears no resemblance of an institution configured with serious- minded statesmen who can be trusted to steer Liberia forward in troubling and complex times as the country finds its self in its nationhood sojourn.
Sen Geraldine Doe-Sherif’s purported deposition as Chairman and expulsion was a long string of thoughtless depositions and expulsions which began with the party’s first Chairman Cole Bangalu in 2006. The CDC Chairman was suspended for time indefinite for attending the first inauguration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Mr. Bangalu was accused of undermining the party’s decision to boycott the inauguration ceremonies of President Sirleaf first term.
Bangalu later defected from the party and is now an official of the Sirleaf administration. An executive member, Mcdonald Wenton, was also expelled from the party in 2007 but took his case to the country’s Supreme Court and won; he was reinstated.
Lately, the party expelled its Standard Bearer in the 2011 elections, Cllr. Winston Tubman, a UN diplomat without giving tangible reasons consistent with the party’s constitution, the election laws and constitution of Liberia. The UN diplomat quietly resigned his leadership and retired from politics few days after his grave embarrassment.
Though the party purportedly deposed and expelled its Chairman for entering into negotiations with the Unity party to invalidate what was appearing to be an inevitable chaos, the party in the end walked back it s threats of boycott and demonstration and astonishingly to the nation, they attended the inauguration in January, sparing the country the euphoria of war which beclouded the country.