Cllr. Winston Tubman, the Standard Bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change, CDC, one time Liberia’s formidable opposition party, is yet to adjust to his new home and responsibility as head of the CDC. The CDC Standard Bear still calls himself Standard Bearer of his former party, the NDPL which he represented in the 2005 elections.
The CDC Standard Bearer continues to refer to himself as Standard Bearer of the National Democratic Party of Liberia, NDPL, despite leaving that party for some time now. The CDC Standard Bearer gaffe came to public glimpse when he visited the fountain of Liberia’s politics, the haitaye center on Carey Street in Monrovia few weeks after his election as Standard Bearer of the CDC. Addressing the people’s parliament or the standing parliament as it is informally called, Cllr Tubman introduced himself as Standard Bearer of the NDPL. The gathering was shocked and taken aback that Cllr. Tubman would refer to himself as Standard Bearer of the NDPL and not the CDC, a party which is a household name. After a little while, he corrected himself and said, the Standard Bearer of CDC.
But Cllr. Tubman’s reference of himself as Standard Bearer of his former party which was regarded as a human error on Carey street, is becoming a serious political liability to the already fragile Tubman-Weah ticket when he again referred to himself as NDPL Standard Bearer at the Unification Day program organized by the Liberian government in which President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was also in attendance. The CDC Standard Bearer was the only opposition leader attending the program, the President laughed along with the audience at the CDC boss when he again referred to himself as Standard Bearer of the NDPL while making remarks at the program.
Cllr. Tubman, on last Friday, was forced to go on national radio to clarify himself after it became clear the public became to ridicule him for continuously referring to himself as Standard Bearer of the NDPL rather than the CDC. Cllr. Tubman constant reference of himself as NDPL Standard Bearer is turning some supporters of the CDC off and are wondering what sort of Standard Bearer the party is carrying to represent them in the election who can not remember he is the flag bearer of their party. The CDC Standard Bearer said his gaffe is not unique, recalling how the Chief Justice of the United States wrongly administered the oath of office to President Barack Obama and was forced to administer it again the next day.
Pundits say the CDC Standard Bearer sees himself in this predicament because he jumps from one party to the other in a short space of time such that he can not take stock of which party he now represents and it would take time for him to adjust to his new home and his new responsibility, something which was conferred on him so spontaneously.
It can be recalled Cllr. Tubman was forced to leave the NDPL party and crossed over to the Liberia National Union, LINU party, and barely two weeks he entered into a deal with George Weah of CDC, with the prospect that both institutions would form a merger and he (Tubman) could go as Standard Bearer with the CDC former Standard Bearer going second. Cllr. Tubman was again forced out of LINU and went without a party, becoming a laughing stalk as he was referred to in local Liberian lingo, “government bone”, meaning he was without a party and his ambition for the Presidency was almost in shambles until he resurrected when he joined the CDC two weeks before that party national convention, laying his foundation to becoming its Standard Bearer, which has brought bad blood and disillusionment in the party and disappointment in the larger support base with the concern that Cllr. Tubman is not a grassrooter and one who can not reflect their aspirations, knowing he is an elite from an old order which the party does not represent and he is no distinction from President Sirleaf and the present order which the party from its birth has committed itself to change.