What was supposed to be a meeting of minds aimed at ending simmering tension within the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change failed to achieve its objectives Tuesday as efforts to bring President George Manneh Weah, party chairman Mulbah Morlu and Representative Acarous Moses Gray to the mediation table collapsed without finding common ground. The tension escalated in the aftermath of a recent scathing indictment of President Weah’s leadership by Chairman Morlu, who suggested at a news conference that the party was losing its way with the grassroots electorate on whose backs it rose to power.
President Weah, according to the source refused to recognized Morlu as chairman of the CDC, insisting that Mr. Morlu was only acting. The source explained that Mr. Morlu swiftly disagreed and reminded the President that he(Morlu) had ascended to the chairmanship to complete the tenure of Nathaniel McGill, who became Minister of State for Presidential Affairs after President Weah took office.
When President Weah remained adamant about the Morlu issue, the source said, things began to spill out of control as the President insisted on Minister McGill presiding over the meeting and not Mr. Morlu.
Mr. Morlu, the source further explained, respectfully disagreed, given that the CDC constitution calls for the chairman of the party to preside whenever the National Executive Committee convenes.
This fact the source said was clearly indicated enshrined in a text message sent by the party’s secretary general Janga Kowo.
Minister McGill, enjoying the President’s backing, remained defiant and said he would preside but after protest from both Morlu and Gray, decided to instruct Secretary General Kowo to preside over the meeting.
Mr. Morlu reportedly insisted that he could not be present in a meeting presided over by Kowo because it was simply not part of the party’s rules and regulations. But the President insisted that since Minister McGill had delegated Kowo to preside, then the Secretary General should.
The President, according to the source then ordered Rep. Gray thrown out of the meeting. “Gray was ridiculed, humiliated and disrespected, to which he fought back and told Janga his searing and the seating of the meeting was illegal. President Weah also ensured those who were supportive of the recent statement against his presidency, be thrown out of the meeting. He was very clear that he would not support Mr. Morlu because of his statement against him and the go
While embarrassed by the disrespect shown them, both Mr. Morlu and Mr. Gray decided to leave the President’s Jamaica resort. However, upon reaching the gates, they were prevented from leaving the resort by armed security forces of the president.
The saga is also reminiscent of more recent disagreement in the former ruling Unity Party between President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the party’s chair Wilmot Paye.
Political observers say, the feud was largely responsible for the former ruling party losing state power in the 2017 presidential elections.
The source said both Morlu and Gray were denied the chance to speak during the meeting. Despite several attempts to make an input, they were constantly denied.