Dr. Whapoe, Nyonblee and Urey battle for VP slot
By Lincoln G. Peters
The standard-bearer of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai has, according to a source, been verbally chosen to head the presidential ticket of a new opposition bloc named “Democratic Alliance of Liberia” after pulling out his UP from the crumbled Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
Multiple opposition political parties were said to have attended a day-long meeting on Wednesday, 30 March 2022 during which they expressed their interest to form part of the new opposition bloc and also verbally agreed to support Mr. Boakai as their political leader for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
After suffering his first defeat in a presidential run in 2017, Mr. Boakai has since sought to make a return on the presidential ticket to battle incumbent President George Manneh Weah by forming a collaboration with other opposition political parties.
But the first collaboration crash-landed ahead of next year’s presidential election after several months of bitter political struggles between Mr. Boakai and his main opposition rival Mr. Alexander B. Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), another CPP constituent party.
Now the CPP which was once made up of four political parties is now left with the ANC and a faction of the Liberty Party (LP) loyal to embattled chairman Musa Bility, after UP and the All Liberian Party (ALP) of Mr. Benoni Urey announced their withdrawals, respectively.
Based on a hint provided about the planned meeting by prominent political actors on the Old Road at the National Democratic Coalition of Liberia Party (NDC), our reporter rushed to the scene to witness the meeting, but he and other journalists were denied access.
However, our reporter observed the arrival of other political actors while a vehicle belonging to former Liberian Vice President Amb. Boakai and other vehicles were parked outside with a huge security presence.
Our source says the political meeting at the NDC office was chaired by Dr. Alley Tokpah and graced by Amb. Boakai, Liberty Party political leader and Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence, and the All Liberian Party political leader and businessman Benoni Urey.
Other political leaders at the meeting were the head of the opposition Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe and the National Democratic Coalition Party, among others.
The next meeting of the Democratic Alliance of Liberia is expected to take place on 4 April 2022 at the same location at 1:00 P.M. At that meeting, it is expected that a resolution will be drafted to approve the verbal decision declaring Mr. Boakai as the head of the presidential ticket.
It is also expected that the new opposition bloc will find a way on how to choose a running mate to Mr. Boakai. Our source says the drafted and approved name of the new coalition is called “Democratic Alliance of Liberia,’’ and it is expected to be headed by Mr.Boakai as the standard-bearer.
Meanwhile, our source says there are three potential aspirants seeking to become Mr. Boakai’s vice running mate.
They are VOLT political leader Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe; LP political leader Senator Nyonblee Karnga – Lawrence; and ALP political leader Mr. Benoni Urey. The alliance is expected to select its vice running mate before next year.
At the close of the meeting, our source disclosed that the parties pledged their commitment to form part of the new alliance and promised to rally to ensure that other political parties join them to help achieve their goals.
The new alliance is strategizing on establishing a framework document along with several other policies that will bind and guide the institution and its members as they enter the 2023 elections.