Early Missteps in Nimba Primary? -ANC’s Wongbe Cries Foul Over “Favoritism”

The newly certificated Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) is wasting no time to put its house in order as the clock ticks closer to the midterm senatorial elections. The Analyst has been reliably informed that the CPP is currently tightening all screws to field the most qualified and winnable candidates to contest the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial and referendum elections. But all candidates must first sign onto an internal MOU that, among other things, restricts any signee from running as an independent candidate or on any other party’s ticket once such person has lost the primaries of the CPP. Taa Wongbe is the first Nimba County CPP aspirant vying for the senate seat to have signed the MOU. Mr. Wongbe has however raised alarm over the manner in which the CPP has extended the deadline for his opponent, Madam Edith Gongloe-Wreh.

In a very angry mood, Mr. Wongbe took to social media Thursday to vent his frustration over what he sees as favoritism on the part of the CPP regarding the deadline for signing of the MOU.

In his social media post entitled: “CPP Must Learn to Uphold Rules”, Mr. Wongbe lamented: “One of the major issues we have in Liberia is our inability to abide by simple rules, laws and guidelines. An email was sent that clearly stated the deadline for signing the MOU as Tuesday, August 25th. I signed and submitted per the deadline. The other candidate didn’t. Now, the committee is giving her undue advantage by extending the deadline to today at 10am. Is this what CPP stands for? Will the NEC give candidates undue advantage? We must learn to respect rules and guidelines we set! I am extremely disappointed! We can’t be trying to change this country and yet behaving like the folks who are breaking the laws. The difference starts with CPP. This is just sad!!! This is favoritism!!”

According to the CPP email that was addressed to both candidates, Mr. Taa Wongbe of the Alternative National Congress and Mrs. Edith Gongloe-Wreh of the Liberty Party, the CPP had attached an MOU between CPP aspirants and CPP to be signed, scanned and emailed back on Tuesday, 25th August 2020 by 12:00 pm for filing with the Committee.

“We would be glad were you to act promptly given that we are way behind the timetable of the National Elections Commission. By signing, each Aspirant will have agreed that after the VPS and subsequent Primary; the result of both the VPS and Primary will be honored by any defeated candidate and that candidate will publicly endorse the winning candidate,” the CPP informed its two candidates.

Interestingly, following the expiry of the August 25, 2020 deadline for submission of the signed and scanned MOU, the CPP immediately wrote Madam Gongloe-Wreh an email complaining about her unexplained delinquency.

“The CPP-VPS & Primary Committee is finding it troubling that since the official communication requesting Nimba County Aspirants (Madam Edith Gongloe-Wreh and Mr. Taa Wongbe) signing of the MOU for further submission to the CPP Secretariat, only Mr. Taa Wongbe has complied and submitted since the deadline as was shared in the CPP-VPS & Primary Committee official chatroom. We expected that you would have met with your suggested yesterday deadline but up to close of yesterday we have not seen your submission. Madam Gongloe-Wreh, this should serve as sufficient notice to establish that we have not gotten the signed MOU which should have been signed, scanned and emailed Tuesday, August 25, 2020 by 4:00 pm…” the CPP informed Aspirant Gongloe-Wreh.

In accordance with the CPP MOU, all aspirants must make public the signed MOU to his/her constituent and the Liberian society in general to demonstrate his/her commitment. Aspirants must also abide by the terms and agreement signed between the CPP and the Liberia Election Observation Network (LEON) for a credible, transparent and accurate voters’ perception survey (VPS) in the aspirant’s county of contestation.

Within the framework of the MOU, aspirants are also urged to support and ensure the conduct of a peaceful, cordial, credible and transparent primary in the county of contestation; while committing themselves to the primary guidelines of the CPP.

The aspirants must as well remain committed to the results of the impartial, free, fair and transparent VPS and primaries and publicly endorse and support the winning candidate throughout the county.

Most importantly, no aspirant who lost the CPP primaries can contest in the same election as an Independent candidate or on any other party’s ticket.