Photo: Joseph Titus Yekeryan
By: Joseph Titus Yekeryan
It seems that the Coalition for Democratic Change CDC is losing political relevance in Bong County as the fight for another seat in the County continues to become tough.
Since the 2017 general and Presidential elections, CDC has not won a single seat in Bong County despite contesting two times.
The party earlier put up a Candidate in the 2018 by-election and lost to an Independent Candidate Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa.
The by-election that year was created as a result of the election of Madam Jewel Howard Taylor to the Vice Presidency to Mr. George M. Weah.
Despite vigorously campaigning, the CDC lost that election with a margin of little over seven thousand votes.
What appeared to be a repeat of the 2018 situation was in the 2020 Senatorial Election where CDC Candidate and Incumbent Senator Henry W. Yallah was defeated by the Collaborating Political Party’s Candidate Prince K. Moye with little over fourteen thousand (14,000) votes.
What led to the CDC’s Defeat?
In the 2018 by-election, the Coalition for Democratic Change did not support any other person but Bong County District #3 Representative Josiah Marvin Cole who had just won an election in District #3 in less than five months before declaring his intention for the Senate.
With this, many people saw it as being “greedy” for power as he needed to sit where he was elected and serve the County’s 3rd Political District.
Many voters also saw the action of the CDC to have chosen Representative Cole as a deceit on grounds that the party allegedly had a political agreement with former Liberia’s Ambassador to the US, Mexico and Canada Jeremiah C. Sulunteh.
Supporters of Mr. Sulunteh claimed that their Political Leader gave support to the Coalition for Democratic Change in the runoff election in order for the party to support him to replace Madam Jewel Howard Taylor.
However, it did not go in the interest line of the Diplomat. As he was expecting the CDC Representative Marvin Cole to announce support for him in 2018, Cole instead declared himself as Contestant leaving the Diplomat with no hope to contest.
Still in search of another seat in the County, the Party declared former Senator Henry Yallah as its Candidate in 2020 less than three months after he joined the party.
Many people, especially opposition Candidate Supporters said retaining Yallah would be another wasted nine years in Bong County.
They said Mr. Yallah didn’t do more during his first tenure and that giving him another nine years mandate would stall developments.
Yallah’s defeat can also be shaped to inability to publicize his activities.
Like his rival Prince K. Moye, former Senator Yallah never had interest in bringing to the media some of his undertakings.
It is believed that a lot of people took advantage of that and turned to Prince K. Moye who was just a Representative of the smallest electoral District.
The hope of CDC winning the 2020 election in Bong was higher than 2018.
Cole was a Political baby to Dr. Tokpa who had been defeated by Jewel Howard Taylor back in 2014.
Besides, in 2020, a lot of top CDC officials campaigned for Henry Yallah as compared to Marvin Cole in 2018.
Even the Party’s Standard Bearer George Weah lifted the hand of Mr. Yallah at the David Kuyon Sports Stadium in 2020 but yet, his defeat was massive.
However, Vice President Jewel Taylor did not respect the party’s mandate on grounds that their Candidate (Henry W. Yallah) was a snake in the bag.
She instead financially ‘supported’ Menipakai Dumoe who said he would have freed former Liberia’s President Charles Taylor.
The 3rd Defeat:
After the election of Prince K. Moye to replace CDC’s Henry W. Yallah at the Senate, there was a by-election created in Bong County’s 2nd electoral District.
The Coalition for Democratic Change again put-up a Candidate but this time, the interest of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor.
Marvin Salvage, the Candidate considered as the most “Impactful” man in the District due to his investment into agriculture was being heavily marketed by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Representative J. Marvin Cole, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill and several other top officials of government.
Mr. Salvage had earlier contested and lost to Prince K. Moye in the 2017 elections.
Following the Tuesday, November 16, 2021 poll, it is yet not cleared whether or not Salvage will be defeated.
Edward Emmanuel Gboe who had contested in the 3rd electoral district was seen as a major contender but as it stands, the race is currently between the People’s Unification Party Candidate James Kolleh and CDC hope Melvin Salvage.
At the beginning when provisional results were being posted at various polling centers late Tuesday evening, Gbarnga was a scene of celebration for supporters of the CDC’s Candidate.
However, when results started pulling in from the strong holes of the PUP Candidate, CDC supporters went quiet and some even started congratulating Mr. Kolleh on social media.
The National Elections Commission has therefore declared Mr. James M. Kolleh as Winner of the by election in Bong County’s second electorial area.
Mr. Joshua D.K Better the Collaborating Political Parties Candidate has already conceded defeat and further d Mr. James Kolleh for his ”victory”