Nimba County defeated senatorial candidate Edith Gongloe-Weh says it is too early to comment whether she would appear on the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change presidential ticket as President George Weah’s running mate in place of incumbent Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor for 2023. But rumor of such consideration being in the making is spreading here.
It was even elevated Tuesday, May 25, 2021 to the popular Spoon Talk, a live digital platform broadcast on Spoon FM when Madam Gongloe-Weh appeared as guest. “This is something that is too early for me to comment on”, she responded when the question was posed to her.
But Madam Gongloe-Weh, who is with the opposition Liberty Party of late Cllr. Charles Brumskine, seems not to be happy with circumstances that led to her defeat in the December 8, 2020 senatorial election that saw the party allowing an independent male candidate Tia Wongba, to contest against her in the face of fierce battle from Candidate Jeremiah Koung, who eventually won the poll despite several challenges waged in court.
Koung, certificated recently by the National Elections Commission as Senator of Nimba, was sternly supported by rebel general-turned politician Senator Prince Yormie Johnson thru his Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) party.
PYJ is a strong ally of President George Manneh Weah, who lifted Mr. Weah’s hands to Nimba voters as endorsement during the 2017 runoff presidential election that the CDC won against former vice president Joseph NyumahBoakai of the ex-ruling Unity Party. He has vowed that as long as he is ‘godfather of Nimba politics’, Edith would not win election in the county.
However, Madam Gongloe-Weh has been explaining her ordeal at the poll as a woman candidate, ranging from insults, physical threats and intimidation to lack of adequate finances to boost her campaign.
She admitted to receiving about US$2,500 from Liberty Party political leader, Senator NyonbleeKangar Lawrence of Grand Bassa County, who was fighting her own battle for re-election against ruling CDC Candidate Gbehzongar Findley.
She said the odd against her was formidable but maintained she would contest if her people petitioned her to run for House of Representatives in 2023, saying “I’m a people-centered person, if my people want me to contest and they petition me I will respond to their wishes.”
There is a simmering distance between President Weah and incumbent Vice President Madam Jewel Howard Taylor. Relations between the two has been strained over the years to an extent that they went separate ways in selection of a senatorial candidate for her native Bong County during the December 2020 election.
While the governing Coalition presented Henry Yallah as its candidate for the Bong Senatorial seat, VP Jewel Taylor instead, supported Prince KemueMoye of opposition CPP, who won the senate, causing the ruling party to loss the central region county.
With most populated Montserrado County already captured by the opposition, including Bong, Grand Bassa, Lofa, and Grand Cape Mount counties gone, the ruling CDC would do everything to maintain grip on Nimba, that has the second largest population next to Montserrado.
Doing so could mean having an influential politician from the county as President Weah’s running mate in 2023 whether a male or a female, and Edith Gongloe-Weh may become a possible choice, having contested the county’s senatorial twice and lost, and became its superintendent under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. By Jonathan Browne