A senior partisan and strategist of the newly formed Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Prof. Wilson Tarpeh, has declared that his party cannot substantiate nor deny whether CDC leader, Senator George Weah, had been in communication with former President Charles Taylor, as alleged by former chief of investigations for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone, Allan White.
Mr Tarpeh in his statement said the party cannot confirm nor deny that such conversation ever took place, but the burden of proof is left with Mr. White. Professor Tarpeh admitted that the Congress for Democratic Change has been in discussion with a number of opposition political parties to form an alliance or a coalition for the purpose of the ensuing 2017 election which is intended to win the upcoming 2017 elections. Speaking to the Voice of America Monday, Prof. Tarpeh said the party hopes that White would prove his allegation and also provide the source of his information that Charles Taylor, the former President - indicted and convicted war criminal for his actions in Sierra Leone, is interfering with the elections in Liberia. In his statement Mr. Allan White said Taylor has been in discussion with Senator George Weah who recently signed an agreement to join forces with Jewel Taylor, the former wife of Charles Taylor, to support and seek the presidency, and the vice presidency. He also alleged that before Taylor left the country, there were millions of dollars that were buried and left behind so whoever gets elected can seek to get his sentenced reduced and get him back to Liberia. Tarpeh debunked allegation that the Congress for Democratic Change - Senator Weah's original party - signed an agreement with Senator Jewel Howard Taylor of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), a party that was formed by the former President. Professor Tarpeh clarified that the Congress for Democratic Change signed an agreement with the NPP and the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) to form an alliance or a coalition with respect to the 2017 elections and not with Jewel Howard Taylor as claimed by Mr. White on the VOA. "According to the agreement signed, the Congress for Democratic Change supposed to produce the standard bearer and the standard bearer will have to pick his Vice Standard Bearer who will not come from the Congress for Democratic Change. So, there is no agreement we are aware of signed with Senator Jewel Howard Taylor as an individual," Tarpeh said. According to Tarpeh, contrary to White's allegation that part of Taylor's plan in the ongoing discussion with Senator Weah is to ensure, after winning the 2017 election, that there would be no establishment of special war and economic crimes court in Liberia, the Congress for Democratic Change has always been in support of restorative and retributive justice as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Report. While Tarpeh was unable to rule out the possibility of such conversation, former Secretary General of the party, Moses Acarous Gray who now represents Montserrado County District #8 at the House, in a reaction through a local daily said White's allegation was "cash driven." "George Weah at no point discussed with Taylor to abort the establishment of a war crimes court for Liberia,” Gray asserted, noting that under the Constitution of Liberia, the courts are established by the Legislature and not the President so Mr. White has to be taught about the Liberian Constitution, he said. According to Gray, the CDC was fully aware that Taylor's calls are monitored by international partners and would dare not undermine the interest of Liberia. Gray told a local daily that White is a lobbyist who speaks in defense of cash, “so I am inclined to believe that both Urey and Boakai who have never called for the establishment of War Crimes Court may be using him for some propagandistic attacks on the winnable Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).” "You can recall that opponents in 2011 Runoff Election shied away from a support to us because it was reported that Weah had granted an interview in Europe calling for an attack on the culture of impunity,” Gray said. Representative Gray said it is it's laughable to say that Urey wants a war or economic crimes court when it is alleged that he is part of war mongering and economic abuses in Liberia. As a legislator Gray openly threw out a challenge to VP Boakai to use his executive leverage to ensure submission of a bill to the current Senate he presides over. Representative Gray said Allen White must now provide documentary pieces of evidence to the world that Vice President Boakai and Presidential Hopeful Urey- a product of the National Patriotic Front (NPFL) led by former President Taylor- are in support of establishing a war crimes court for Liberia.