As the race to the 2017 presidential and legislative elections inches closer, reports reaching this paper speak of a new progressive grassroots political organization under the banner “Coalition for Liberia’s Progress” (CLP) that has filed paper works with the National Elections Commission (NEC) in Monrovia. Our sources indicate that this new entity is the brain child of former Finance Minister Amara Konneh and his political buddy James F. Kollie. Though this paper was not able to reach any of them for confirmation, we are inclined to believe our source on grounds that the organizing papers filed with the NEC a few months ago listed one James F. Kollie, Jr. as an organizing member of the CLP from Lofa County.
Aditionally, one of Mr. Kollie’s political confidants, in person of Sylvester Pewee, was also listed as the organizing Secretary General (SG) of the CLP. In fact, Mr. Pewee, who could not also be reached, was early this year heard on Truth FM radio discussing the essence of the new political party. What is still unclear to many political observers is what do Amara Konneh and James Kollie have up their sleeves to establish a new political party. Several years ago it was rumored inside political circles that Amara and Kollie were supporters of the Alternative National Congress (ANC). Later, another rumor surfaced that the two men were ardent supporters of the Liberty Party (LP). The fact that Amara and Kollie are now linked to the newly formed CLP leaves political pundits in a state of bewilderment as to what these two men are up to. The interesting thing that this paper has learned is that the CLP intends to field candidates only for legislative seats in the ensuing presidential and legislative elections. Our information gathered from informed sources state that the party is not intending to field any candidate for president comes 2017. If this is true, it will be the first time in the political history of this country that a party is organized solely for contesting legislative seats and not the presidency. According to an insider of the CPL who asked not to be named because she doesn’t have the authority to address key party issues to the media without authorization, “We want to effect change from a bottom-up approach because, as a grassroots coalition, this is the best way to bring about real change.” Confusing this situation further is the long standing notion that Amara Konneh has long been touted as being interested in either running for president or preferably as a running mate to one of the leading candidates in the 2017 elections. However, if Amara is truly associated with the CLP and they live true to their model of only contesting legislative seats, this will be a sea change moment in Liberian political dispensation. Our team is still making efforts to contact those associated with the CLP to come on the record to discuss the reason and essence of the establishment of the party and how it will add to the political debate.