Important changes at the top of the 
True Whig Party: was Tolbert ‘revolutionary’? 

The Party’s Vice National Chairman, former Maryland Senator James N. Anderson, succeeded True Whig Party (TWP) National Chairman Goodridge. Interestingly, prior to Anderson's elevation, and upon President Tolbert’s instigation, the TWP’s constitution was amended to create the position of second vice chairman. Subsequently, President Tolbert, Standard Bearer of the TWP, called on the Party to elect one vice chairman from one of the older counties (i.e. coastal counties) and the other from one of the newer counties (i.e. the Hinterland counties). And he added, “since Montserrado County is the seat of Government and since the National Chairman is not from Montserrado, one of the vice chairmen should be nominated from Montserrado”. (MICAT Press Service, August 23, 1976, p. 6/7). 

After these moves, partisans of the TWP unanimously elected E. Reginald Townsend and Jackson F. Doe as First and Second Vice Chairmen of the TWP respectively. Prior to their election, Reginald ('Reggie') Townsend was assistant secretary general of the TWP and territorial chairman for Marshall Territory (close to Monrovia), while Nimba County Senator Jackson Doe (not related to Samuel Doe) held the position of Local Chairman of the TWP in Nimba County.  

The foregoing clearly shows President Tolbert’s balancing act: introducing political changes which implied more participation from tribal Liberians and simultaneously reassuring the conservative wings of the political scene, i.e. Americo-Liberians who did not accept the inevitability of power-sharing, that their interests would continue to be safeguarded. 

Next: A new vice president


















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