Delegates of the ruling Unity Party or UP are locked in a tense national convention in the provincial town, Gbarnga, Bong County –central Liberia where outgoing chair Sen. Varney Sherman, is seriously campaigning for delegates to elect a leadership void of suspicion between government and the party.
UP standard bearer, President Ellen Johnson ¬Sirleaf presided over the session when the party reported, during which debate sparked, surrounding democratic practice in the ruling party that seeks a third term here; this time around, not with President Sirleaf whose two terms constitutionally ends in 2017, but Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
Cllr. Sherman, who is also Grand Cape Mount County Senator, repeatedly declared his support for vice standard bearer Boakai for the party’s presidential ticket, while also endorsing outgoing secretary general Mr. Wilmot Paye to chair the UP as well as Mr. Neto Zaza Lighe as vice chair.
Sherman however pleaded with the delegates to elect a leadership which Mr. Boakai could clearly trust and in which “there is no suspicion between the party leadership and the leadership of the government.” “A leadership that sees itself that you need a strong political party in order to have a strong government; and when you have a strong government, you can have a very, very strong country,” he stressed.
“And I reiterate today, mine unflinching support for Joseph Nyumah Boakai to be our next candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Liberia; and I am committed to that,” Cllr. Sherman added, vowing to put on his jeans comes 2017 to support the Vice President.
He proposed to the delegates that in order to ensure that Vice President Boakai a successful President, if elected, he should have a party leadership that can work with him so that in return, he (Boakai) as first partisan and President of Liberia, would provide opportunities for partisans.
The UP’s outgoing Secretary General who is now seeking the chairmanship, Mr. Wilmot Paye, had suggested that as a democratic party, the assembly being the highest decision making body, could accept a report, endorse it or mandate the national chairman to make necessary modifications before it could be adopted.
President Sirleaf concurred with Mr. Paye that he was correct that the body was the supreme body of the UP, but also suggested that the body must act in accordance with the principles of democracy. As such, the first partisan and presiding officer suggested that a vote be taken on whether or not, to accept the report as presented, except for the portion that has to do with campaign, leaving the option with the delegates to say how they wanted to proceed accordingly.
By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne