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Jewel out, Findley in? CDC’s Running-Mate Landscape

President Ellen Johnson Sirelaf- the political matriarch, left, and Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, right

Breaking News and Analysis 

Developing information filtering in at Globe Afrique’s Investigative desk suggests that CDC’s Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, is on her way out as the running-mate of CDC’s presidential candidate, soccer legend Senator George Manneh Weah, as Weah plans to go with former Grand Bassa County Senator Gbehzohngar Milton Findley in the CDC’s attempt to make last minute adjustments to please the Sirleafs’ political renaissance.

Withdrawal possible

Findley ,left, here with Weah, right

The election law of Liberia says one can withdraw a party’s nominee 12 days before the printing of the final listing of candidates. The Coalition for Democratic Change’s chief strategists are planning and working to exploit this opportunity to legally effect this last minute change demanded by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her beloved son Robert Sirleaf, who is also a former chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia, as a funding prerequisite.

2014 Ali Sillah’s redux

Those who can remember the drama that occurred in the 2014 Montserrado County’s Senatorial contest will have no problem believing a last minute pull out by an induced candidate is possible only in Liberia. After all they have seen it before, the young Ali Sellah who was representing the ruling Unity Party made similar last minute pull out of the senatorial contest on health grounds. Ali was reportedly given a handsome upfront payment of cash and a cushy diplomatic role in the Middle East for his troubles. This same move is being made again by Senator Taylor who is trading her running mate slot for a huge pay-out and guaranteed Senate leadership. Globe Afrique is being reliably informed that her absence at the CDC’s campaign launch was made possible by a $200,000 USD payment.

Taylor’s name and his fears  

Even before the NPP and Charles Taylor could catch on to Weah’s realignment play, Jewel had already cut herself in to the deal with the Sirleafs and Weah. So as things stand, Senator Taylor has managed to please former President Taylor and President Sirleaf by her single act of staying away from the launch. Mr. Taylor believes the Senator’s absence was in obedience to his orders, whereas the action was done to signal commitment to the back door deal with President Sirleaf. Weah and Jewel will use the excuse of Taylor’s unacceptable international reputation to silence party hardliners who are secretly questioning the proposed new change in plans. The official line is that for the CDC to get America’s blessing and win the election, they would need to put a distance between Senator George Manneh Weah and former President Charles M. Taylor.

Greasing Vice President Boakai’s lips and filling Senator George Weah’s pockets

President Sirelaf, left, with Vice President Boakai, right.

The trip made to  the campaign  headquarters of UP by President Sirleaf yesterday was meant to divert attention away from her CDC’s game plan and make it look like all is well with she and her Vice President. It was a means shutting up critics in the Unity Party and more indigenous Liberian supporters of the vice president.

Globe Afrique has learned that the president is strategizing this path to discredit those who are predicting her move and support for the CDC and Senator Weah. Sources say the President was shunned by Mo Ali who is acting Secretary General and Wilmot Paye, the party’s chairman. The pair are not fooled by the President’s gestures.

Top sources at the Ministry of Finance have confidentially reported that President Sirleaf got the Central Bank and the Ministry to release $10 million United States Dollars out of the public coffers about a week ago. The amount is the same amount allotted in the 2017/2018 budget for the renovation of the Executive Mansion. Globe Afrique has been reliably informed by the MOF assets that the funds were released even before the budget was signed into law. The funds will allegedly be used to buy leverages in these final days of electioneering. Globe Afrique has reliably learned that a major upfront payment was made to Weah before the CDC’s campaign launch.

The condition was that he (Weah) would parade Findley and test the public reaction to a Weah-Findley ticket. The plan is to give Weah more money if he is able to do the deed and secure the adjustment the Sirleafs are demanding. All these are the short-term game plan.

Long-term Game Plan: Install a “President Robert A. Sirleaf”

Robert A. Sirleaf, son of President Ellen Johnson Sirelaf

The CDC and the Sirleafs’ long-term game plan is to ensure that the CDC and Weah support Robert Sirleaf to replace Weah as the next senator for Montserrado County on the CDC’s ticket should Weah wins the presidential election in October 2017. Moreover, a future President Weah will then drop future Vice President Findley and choose future Senator Robert Sirleaf as his running-mate for his second term’s re-election.  Upon the expiration of future President Weah’s final term in office as president, Robert Sirleaf will then become the standard bearer to replace Weah as the next president, and he (Robert Sirleaf) will select a former Liberian finance minister unnamed as his running-mate, according to the source.

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