By Lewis S. Teh
The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has endorsed its stalwart Cllr. Fonati Koffa’s bid for Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Grand Kru County District #1 Representative will challenge several contenders, including one newly elected representative who supported the CDC’s re-election bid in the run-off.
Koffa is an incumbent Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In its endorsement statement, the CDC through chairman Mulbah Morlu described Koffa as a well-balanced political and regional partisan that has every ability of becoming the Speaker of the 55th Legislature.
Morlu told a major press conference over the weekend that the party endorsed Cllr. Koffa following an intensive internal consultation between the national executive committee and the CDC Legislative Caucus.
He said the party has concluded that given the thin nature of the election returns, a balanced government regionally and politically is in the best interest of the Liberian people.
“In this light, the Party will support its utmost quest for the Speaker position and has endorsed the candidacy of Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, a well-balanced political and regional candidate for Speaker,” said Morlu.
“Therefore, we are calling on all independent and like-minded Legislators to support Cllr. Koffa as the CDC’s consensual candidate for the ensuing election for the Speakership of the Honorable House of Representatives,” Morlu continued.
Last week, at least 30 incumbent lawmakers endorsed the candidacy of Cllr. Koffa to run for the Speaker position.
Some newly elected lawmakers said in anonymity that a Southeast Speaker will balance power since the President-elect and Vice-President-elect are from Lofa and Nimba Counties’ respectively.
For his part, Deputy Speaker Koffa told reporters on Monday that he was humbled to have so many colleagues reach out to him to encourage him to seek the nomination for Speaker.
“However, after much prayer and deliberation, we will be making a formal declaration hopefully next week,” he said.
Koffa expressed confidence that he can be trusted to serve as Speaker under the UP-led government if picked by the CDC to contest the Speakership election.
Meanwhile, Cllr. Koffa has congratulated President-elect Joseph Nyuma Boakai on his historic win in the country’s presidential election and wished him all the best in his service to the nation.
At the same time, the Deputy Speaker congratulated President George Manneh Weah on being a “true democrat” who has demonstrated mature leadership at a defining moment in the country’s history.
“The grace with which he conceded defeat is legendary and it testifies to the fact that President Weah is a true, real patriot and man of peace,” he said.