By J K K Peah
MONROVIA-Wife of war crime convict now languishing in British maximum security prison, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor is poised to becoming Standard Bearer of Liberia’s biggest political party, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to representing the party in the October election as the party’s current Standard Bearer, Senator George Weah is beclouded by accusation of being a United States’ citizen and could be disqualified and could be disqualified by the country’s National Election Commission from contesting for President.
Senator Taylor was recently chosen as Vice Standard Bearer of the party and being second in line to the standard bearer-ship, could replace Senator Weah who is the party current Standard Bearer and represent Liberia’s biggest opposition party on the October ballot.
A digital copy of Senator Weah’s American passport was published recently on social media and new outlets fueling a rigorous debate about candidates and officials suspected of holding citizenship of other countries but contesting for election and serving in senior government positions contrary to the laws of the country as Liberia does not have a duel citizenship and even if in some point in time dual citizenship is recognized, a dual citizen will be forbidden from running for public office as stipulated in the election laws.
The publisher of this outlet recently had interaction with the Secretary General of the party, Augustine Janga Kowo and accused the publisher of “attacking Senator Weah” for publishing the article of his standard bearer’s disqualification to contest the October he holds American passport.
In a two day interaction with the party Secretary General of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change, Mr. Janga Augustine Kowo and publisher of “The New Dispensation” informed him that “The New Dispensation” did not attack anyone but published the story because it made news and takes no favor or try to protect anyone or institution to shield them from publishing news that affects them but the public good and Liberia are the sole purpose the article serves and careless who it favors or not.
Mr Kowo categorically denied Senator Weah is a United States citizen and that his party Standard Bearer has led the for 10 years and ran President and Vice President in two different elections of 2005 and 2011 as well as a 2014 by election which elected him Senator.
When asked if Senator Weah ever disclosed his American citizenship status to the National Election Commission, the party and Liberian people, Mr Kowo declined to address the question.
The CDC Secretary General also failed to commit Senator Weah, himself and the party if his Standard Bearer will agree to sign a “waiver” to verify the Senator’s U S citizenship, noting the publisher has no standing for him, the Senator and party to commit and if the outlet has problem despite his plead to “desist” for what he called “smearing” his Standard Bearer, “we see you in court”, he ended his interaction.
Another senior official of the party whom name is withheld said if these laws were in place long time why did the National Election Commission did not act on these discrepancies all along but noted, he believes in the rule of law and if his party Standard Bearer is found to be in breach, “the law is the law” and it be applied no matter who it affects.
Responding to the TND Publisher’s query whether the party was considering the high possibility of Senator Taylor representing the party in the October because disqualification looms over the current Standard Bearer, “we will discuss everything”, our highly placed source said.
Below are steams of Facebook interaction between Mr Janga Augustine Kowo, Secretary General of the opposition, CDC and Publisher of “The New Dispensation” as he tries to refute the American citizenship of Senator George Weah, the party Standard Bearer under cloud of disqualification and replacement.