President George Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor are for the first time involved in a County Tour festivity following countless reports of a bitter relationship between the pair.
The last leg of the County Tour has taken the President and entourage to Lofa County, where it is said the biological father of the Vice President hails from. Lofa being her paternal county could also be a reason behind her attendance.
There came a time when both President Weah and Vice President Taylor weren’t spotted attending major governmental functions together.
Sources attributed the poor relationship to inadequate support to her office, including no official armored vehicle for almost a year; default or non-payment of her leased property; delay in processing checks and non-remittance of budgetary appropriation; refusal to consult her before critical decisions were made or taken and lack of respect and courtesy to her office from especially from loyalists of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and by extension, supporters of the President.
VP Taylor was hardly seen attending CDC political rallies and the turning point was when the Vice President became a noticeable absentee from the opening of the third session of the Legislature in January 2020, which was blamed on lack of operational funds for his office, but the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning debunked the allegation.
The Finance Ministry denied and claimed it had supported the VP office by disbursing over US$3 million of budgetary allotment since 2018.
Her office was also said to be without official fuel and lubricants, for which she had written the President and the Senate for redress but no to avail.
She reportedly mentioned the alleged non/delayed processing or release of budgetary appropriated checks to her office for a protracted period to effectively manage her wellbeing and run her office effectively. The Vice President, according to reports, was also grappling with default or non-payment on the leased property of the present residence in which she now resides.
Meanwhile, then Chairman of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) in September 2019, John Gray revealed that the Vice President was unprotected under the Weah administration despite her capacity as second in command.
Gray, also former President of Liberia, added that Madam Taylor’s security personnel had been restricted by the government and she didn’t have the assigned vehicles in her convoy to match her status.
The apparent sour relationship between the two heads of the state was climaxed by the open declaration by Madam Taylor that she wouldn’t support President Weah’s Bong County choice in Senator Henry Yallah ahead of the December 8, 2020 Senatorial Midterm Elections. Yallah, though running on the CDC ticket, eventually lost to Prince Moye.
“I maintain my stance that I won’t be supporting Senator Henry Yallah for the Senate seat in Bong County. Senator Yallah is a member of the Congress for Democratic Change, and it’s up to the party to make sure he gets elected, not me,” she disclosed.
“The President believes in democracy and he knows it’s my right to decide who to support. I don’t think my decision will anger him,” she concluded.