Presidential hopeful Cllr. Taiwan Saye Gongloe is poised to name a Liberian academician, Dr. Emmanuel K. Urey-Yarkpawolo, hailing from Bong County, as his running mate, but keen observers are wondering whether a Gongloe-Urey Ticket could attract voters’ attention and become a winning ticket.
Gongloe, a renowned human rights lawyer, is vying for presidency on the Liberian People’s Party (LPP’s) ticket.
His soon-to-be running mate, Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo, is the former president of the Salvation Army Polyphonic University College (T-SAP) and an Environmental and Resource specialist.
Observers say they are both intellectually and academically fit but are asking whether their campaign messages could resonate enough among ordinary citizens, particularly ghetto youth, who are drawn to rhetoric rather than real issues confronting the nation.
Liberian politics is not largely issues-driven, but personality and popularity inspire the country’s youthful population in determining who gets elected.
Gongloe is among several opposition leaders seeking to battle incumbent President George Manneh Weah out of office through the ballot box in October after one six-year term of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) regime.
It has become increasingly clear that Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo’s naming ceremony takes on 9 July 2023 in Gbarnga, Bong County, central Liberia.
Recently, Cllr. Gongloe and his team approached Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo through the efforts of elders of the county to appeal for him to be his running mate.
He is said to have accepted the challenge, after consultations with family members and friends to go as Cllr. Gongloe’s running mate.
Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo abandoned his initial political quest to contesting as a representative candidate in Bong County Electoral District #3.
Meanwhile, Gongloe is said to have made a commitment to give Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo the chance to run as LPP’s standard bearer in the 2029 elections, as part of the arrangement.
Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo has posted Cllr. Gongloe’s photo and a broom on his official Facebook page, asking: “Do you know the importance of the Broom?”
“It’s simple and common but it has many qualities. First, it is a symbol of cleanliness and cleanliness is next to Godliness,” he went further.
He added that the broom is a symbol of strength in unity. “Fellow Liberians are we ready?” his post concluded.
In 2005, Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo graduated as valedictorian and student council president of the Salvation Army’s Len Millar Junior and then enrolled at Cuttington University, where he graduated in three years instead of four, with a BSC in Biology and a Master’s in Public Health from the same institute.
Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo also earned another Master’s in Environment and Resources and a Ph.D. in Environmental Resources both from the University of Wisconsin Madison Nelson Institute in May 2018.