Two times defeated Presidential candidate Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine of the opposition Liberty Party has dismissed rumors that Vice President Joseph Boakai is courting him to become his (Boakai’s) running mate in the 2017 presidential election.
“It’s simply rumors, and as has been in the past, the tactics of the Unity Party trying to distract the voters from the real issues. Let me make unequivocally clear, we’re not associated with the ruling party; we’re not going to run on the same ticket”, Brumskine told the Voice of America on Wednesday, 27 July.
He said the Liberty Party looks forward to changing leadership from the ruling party to an opposition party, hopefully led by the LP. But there has been what appears to be close collaboration between the LP and the government, particularly with President Sirleaf, so much so that the President appointed the Chairman of the Liberty Party, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa as Minister of State Without Portfolio.
Cllr. Koffa subsequently resigned from the LP chairmanship and is currently heading a taskforce appointed by the President to probe a Global Witness report that has linked several current and ex-officials to bribery amidst serious criticism that the probe will not be impartial.
Brumskine says he’s willing to put aside his own presidential aspiration to work with other parties to come up with a united ticket against the ruling Unity Party, saying “We hope very much that we will be able to build an opposition coalition to oppose the ruling party.”
He had stressed the need for a united opposition bloc during his party’s convention in Voinjama, Lofa County a year ago, to challenge the governing UP, which is seeking a third term in 2017.
The governing UP recently elected Vice President Boakai as its standard bearer to vie for the Presidency as President Sirleaf will be stepping down after completion of two terms in office. Mr. Boakai is yet to name a running mate.
“I said to them let us follow the example of Nigeria and let us get together, sit in a room. I’m prepared to walk out of that room, not having my personal goals accomplished as long as we come out with a ticket that the Liberian people will respect, will vote for to ensure that Unity Party does not perpetuate itself in power,” Brumskine said.
According to him, he lost the two elections in 2005 and 2011 because he did not effectively articulate his party’s vision for Liberia. “The failure of Liberty Party the last two times around I attribute to myself because we have, as a political party, the best national agenda, the best vision for our country. I have not effectively communicated it to the Liberian people over the past two elections.”
The Liberty Party has a platform based on four strategic principles called the 4Rs – reconciliation, reform, rebuild, and recovery. Brumskine says the LP intends to change the direction of Liberia and seek the welfare of Liberians as well as build on the foundation that President Sirleaf has laid, using the 4Rs.