The Secretary General of the National Democratic Coalition (NDC), Abraham Mitchell says the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and the Council of Patriots (COP) are remnants of the pre-1980 right-wing elites that were the principal drivers of armed insurrections in post-1980 Liberia (including the 1985 putsch and the 1989 Botuo invasion of Liberia).
In a commentary published in The CDCian Newspaper recently, the former Liberian Immigration Commissioner said Liberians need to keep a close watch on these people whose mode of politicking is reckless ventures, aimed at short-cuts to power unconstitutionally.
He wrote: “On a serious reflection, one wonders, whether or not, recent series of anti-government street demonstrations staged by the COP, its supporters and patrons in Monrovia, calling for ‘save the state’, ‘regime change’ and ‘Weah must step down’, were actually an exercise of constitutional right to ‘peacefully assemble’; or were they more or less, broad daylight and sinister designs intended for possible insurrection and the overthrow of government.”
He contended that the current state of reckless post-conflict power struggle in Liberia, dominated by what he calls ‘dirty establishment elitist opposition politics’ must be properly understood and contextualized.
Firstly, Mr. Mitchell added that nowhere in the world, where liberal democracy is practiced, based on the constitutional presidential system as ours (copied from the United States of America), can the leaders of defeated political parties out of those elections pressurize the sitting constitutionally elected president of the victorious ruling party, to step down from power, through well pre-meditated, organized, partisan-driven, anti-government street demonstrations, because a set of partisan-driven grievances petitioned by them, were not met by the President.
He indicated that is exactly what has been happening in Liberia between the “self-advertised and bogus” Council of Patriots (COP) as well as a self-acclaimed group of Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) , on the one hand, and the Coalition for Democratic Change Administration, on the other, led by President George Manneh Weah.
“Those well-organized pro-COP anti-government street demonstrations, heavily financed by the select groups of anti-government oppositionists in and out of Liberia (the United States in particular), certainly had something sinister under their sleeves”, he stated; adding that, “We are reminded, this was the same form and manner in which those that orchestrated the Liberian Civil War against President Samuel Doe, organized themselves politically prior to, and up to the Liberian Civil War.”
Atty. Mitchell also wrote, “We are also reminded that the pre-1980 right-wing remnant-elites that were the principal drivers of armed insurrections in post-1980 Liberia (including the 1985 putsch and the 1989 Botuo invasion of Liberia), are the identical people active in today’s COP. Liberians need to keep a close watch on these people whose mode of politicking is reckless ventures, aimed at short-cuts to power unconstitutionally.”
“Imagine American Democrats and their supporters, defeated by the Republicans in the recent US presidential elections, would converge on the grounds of the White House, to demand Republican President Donald John Trump to step down because, he failed to address a set of partisan-driven grievances contained in a pro-Democratic Party position statement. Or say, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Ghana and its supporters that lost to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the most recent presidential Ghanaian election, would converge on the seat of government in Accra through sinisterly motivated street protests to call on the NPP President to step down from power, because the NPP-administration did not meet their demands.”
The experienced and long tested advocate pointed out that such a political behavior as demonstrated by the COP and CPP were not only recklessly preposterous, but were a display of self-driven egos, conceitedness and intoxication for raw power.
According to him, the COP, CPP and their “disgruntled” supporters should never again be permitted to wreck Liberia’s democracy and its hard earned illustrious peace, through reckless ventures under false pretext of exercising their constitutional right to peacefully assemble.
Writing further, Mitchell noted that had the vast majority of the Liberian people and the international community had not distanced themselves from the June 7 and January 6 dangerous street protests by these elements, Liberia would have been effectively destabilized and subsequently placed once more on the path of doomed days.
“We must note here that not only are the political leaders of COP and CPP bona fide partisans of legally registered political parties, they have all also virtually been affiliates of warring factions that committed butchery during the civil war – meaning that COP leaders are both partisans and warring faction affiliates.
Atty. Mitchell also stated that leaders of the COP and CPP also participated in the 2017 elections as candidates of their respective parties and were humiliatingly defeated in those elections by the Congress for Democratic Change-led Coalition for Democratic Change Party.
Moreover, he asserted that leaders of the COP and CPP include sitting legislators (senators and Representatives), that have reneged on their legislative constitutional responsibilities to effectively check the Executive through their respective legislative oversight functions, and have become very rude street protesters.
Worst still, Mitchell indicated that the COP proponents, specifically include leaders of the Unity Party and remnants of the Taylor regime that have all failed the Liberian people in recent corrupt governments, have now become Liberia’s new anti-corruption campaigners.
“It beats one’s imagination that the Unity Party that turned over power barely two years ago after 12 years of squandered opportunities, would hide behind the so-called COP to organize and lead anti-government street demonstrations in Monrovia in the name of fighting corruption.
“Moreover, it also baffles fellow Liberians, to see the former Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, perceived to be a wise, elderly statesman, who having enjoyed 12 years of uninterrupted constitutional governance in a post-conflict country, would openly support street protests as those orchestrated by the COP and his CPP to call for regime change and to demand a sitting constitutionally elected president to step down.”
The point to be emphasized according to Atty. Mitchell, is that both COP and CPP are not politically neutral civil society organizations (CSOs), with non-partisan motivations; they are all quite the opposite, adding that Henry P. Costa, Abraham Darrius Dillon and Yerkeh Kulubah, were and remain paid agents promoting partisan conspiracies, that should be correctly viewed by the Liberian people and foreign partners for exactly what they are.