Cyril Allen Explains CDC New Agreement -Says “It Will Address Past Errors”

MONROVIA – While details of the new framework document of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) signed by the constituent parties remain sketchy, a stalwart of the party, Cyril Allen has thrown some lights on some of the salient components of the new agreement, saying it will address most, if not all of the outstanding issues that have been rocking the party for a long time now

Mr. Allen’s explanation came in the wake of mixed reactions that greeted the signing of the document by the three parties after some setbacks occasioned by the refusal of some key members, including the national chairman of National Patriotic Party(NPP), Senator James Biney and  the leader of the Liberia People’s Democratic Party(LPDP) refused to affix their signatures in protest of how the renewal of the expired framework agreement was handled since it failed to address the fundamental issue like governance, trust and commitment within the coalition.

Speaking to the live Morning Ride program on the state radio, ELBC, yesterday, Wednesday, February 8, 2023, Allen who said the framework was never an event but a process, was an outcome of an almost 9 months of discussion, reviewing drafts, making inputs and finally getting the partisans of the 3 parties to agree and sign the document

“Politics is based on experience and over the past five years there has been experience gathered as a result of the coalition. And so those pieces of experience we gathered are those shortcomings and those bottlenecks that were created during the past five years.

“The new arrangement is to embrace those shortcomings with the view of smoothening them.

“The first agreement was clear, that at the end of the election year when we emerge victorious, nominations and appointments to government positions will be given to constituent parties. During this first period, that side was lacking and the parties were not satisfied.

“The President did not broaden the base for nomination and appointment and so everybody was frustrated about that which led to dissatisfaction”, he said.

He said the new framework agreement clearly specified that because there were grey areas in the first arrangement, this time around a broad participation by all parties is factored, adding that the party will play a more decisive role at all levels of the party activities, be it at the national, local , cabinet or legislative level.

He said another aspect of the new arrangement is there will be a primary for all partisans, be it incumbent or aspirants for all legislative seats because it is not a guarantee that the incumbent will win election. He said this sort of imposition of candidates in the past robbed the party of some elections and such will not be repeated

He said candidates will be properly screened from the structure of the party from the grass root up to the national level and every successful candidate will be product of a democratic process owned and carried out by partisans who will freely choose the candidates.

“We are doing this so that whoever emerges will be supported by the party including those who lost the primary. We want to avoid the situation where the loser eventually goes to contest as an independent against our candidate.

“We will also set up an administrative structure and an ethics and grievance committee to listen to the complaints of contestants with the view of amicably resolving all issues related to primaries and avoid friction within the party”, he said.

Asked why Senator James Biney, national Chairman of the NPP and Alex Tyler, a leader of the LPDP have all not signed and what could be implication of their refusal to sign have on the framework agreement, the former National Chairman of NPP said the framework document is not about individual signing but the intent is to secure 2/3 majority support from the executive committee of each party to provide legal backing to the process of reaffirming membership to the coalition by the three constituent parties. He said so far the objectives have been achieved, adding that with more discussions ongoing, Biney, though having his own reservation towards the framework agreement, will sign eventually, just like the case of Tyler.

Commenting on the decision of Senator Prince Y. Johnson to pull out its support to the CDC,

Allen said it was important to correct the impression from the beginning that Senator Johnson and his MDR have never been part of the coalition but they supported the party during the second round of the election. He said the coalition consists of the CDC, NPP and LPDP and  another party that supported CDC at the time during the second round collaborated with the party but did not have any membership.

He discounted the insinuation that Johnson could damage the chance of CDC in Nimba County, where he is said to have a large following.

“Senator Johnson has never been part of the coalition. He supported us during the second round. He is not going to affect our chances because NPP as a party has the members nationwide, and for those that really know about NPP, we have a very large support base in Nimba.

“And that is why I told the President he should have not responded to Senator Johnson because he himself has lost support with his people in Nimba. It has always been him and his own group of people and you know Nimba is made up of 4 different groups. His leaving does not mean that the whole of Nimba will follow him.

“I did not take him seriously because something about Senator Johnson is his consistent inconsistency. He will say something here and don’t be surprised if he comes back tomorrow to CDC”, he said.

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