MONROVIA – As political parties and politicians gear up for the 2023 legislative and presidential elections, the Secretary General of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)) Senator James Biney is calling on the CDC to exhaust the primaries process at both constituency and county levels to elect candidates who will represent the party during the 2023 elections, instead of handpicking or imposing candidates that could not be winnable.
Senator Biney who formerly served as Chairman of the NPP, one of the constituent parties along with the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Liberia People’s Democratic Party, also said the framework agreement that brought together the three parties into the ruling CDC will expire in October 2022. As a result, Biney said efforts are being made to form a new collaboration, or have others join on the principle of equity and democratic terms.
“October of this year 2022, the Coalition’s article or framework will expire and a new one will be formed. The three political parties (and perhaps new one) will endeavor to formulate a new Coalition’s article. The core principle upon the researched article will be signed by the political parties, with equity and democratic terms. There will be primaries at the constituency and county levels to derive the Coalition’s candidates for elections. This will be in black and white in the said document. No one party will handpick a nominee to represent the Coalition; neither will any member of the Coalition’s constituent party be denied of participating in the primary processes”, Biney said in a release signed by him.
He acknowledged the painstaking efforts put in place a few years ago by the three parties to merge into a collaboration, stating that given the history of how political marriages have not worked in the past, many people doubted that it would have stayed the course. Biney said, although the CDC led government has been trying to fulfill its electoral promises, a lot needs to be done.
“Few years ago, members of the three political parties, the Congress for Democratic Change, National Patriotic Party, and the Liberian People Democratic Party, came together as a Coalition to contest the leadership of the country. Many doubted our collective capacity and ability. We proved our critics wrong. We won and have since kept the country on the steady course of development. In spite of the progress, we believe that a lot more needs to be done, for Liberia is still lagging behind in delivery of social services to our people”, he said.
The Maryland Senator who was elected during the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Midterm election, said the influx to the Coalition by Representatives and Senators who were elected on the tickets of other political parties is a manifestation and reflection that even the opposition leaders do recognize the progress the CDC has made since it came to power some five years ago. He said, as Secretary General of the Coalition, he wholeheartedly welcomes the newcomers to the CDC fold.
The latest release from Biney comes in the wake of the crossing over of key opposition lawmakers and the impending sign of others to follow, especially those who will be re-contesting next year.
The move is being viewed by political pundits that the defectors from other parties should not take it for granted that they will be given automatic tickets to fly the party’s flag in 2023 as they have to file in line to participate in a competitive process with others who they are meeting in the party and who too have strong ambitions to also contest the same positions that will be up in 2023.
In 2023, all the 73 representative seats will be contested, while 15 senatorial seats will also be vacant. Biney will not be on the ballot since he got his nine years mandate through his victory in the December 8, 2020 election.