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Another top UP stalwart quits

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Barely two days after the resignation of Unity Party executive Harrison Kanwea, who has subsequently taken up membership with the opposition Liberty Party, another senior UP member has tendered in his letter of resignation from the ruling establishment.

The governing party’s former senior vice chairman Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh, on Wednesday, 15 February officially announced his resignation from the party, ending speculations that he was being considered for running mate to Vice President Joseph NyumahBoakai, currently the flagbearer of the UP.

Amb.Sulunteh, who also recently resigned his post as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States and Canada, said he took the decision to enable him have an independent mind about his future endeavors.

In a communication to the ruling party dated February 15, the former Ambassador writes, “This letter comes to inform you of my decision to disengage with the Unity Party effective today, February 15, 2017. This decision is predicated on the need for me to have an independent mind on my future endeavors.”

Addressing a news conference in Monrovia on Wednesday, February 15, Ambassador Sulunteh said, over the years, the Unity Party has experienced lapses in the implementation of its own promises.

“When some of us pointed to these lapses and proffered suggestions, we were branded as internal opposition in the Unity Party. Be that as it may, we did not waiver in our effort to support the party. For example, in March and April, 2015, we used our two months home-leave and conducted an analytical assessment of the party in seven of the 15 counties in Liberia at our own expense,” he noted.

Sulunteh recounted that during the 2011 general and presidential elections, when he declared his bid for the senatorial race, the Unity Party created a situation as if he and former superintendent Ranney Jackson were fighting in Bong County, saying, “The party through its standard bearer asked Sulunteh to abandon his senatorial bid to allow Mr. Jackson to contest on the ticket of the party. The result was a loss.”

He disclosed that again in 2014 during the Special Senatorial elections, when he positioned himself for the second time for the senatorial race, he was advised that it was in the best interest of the country to continue the good work with the American people in mobilizing much needed support for the Ebola fight.

“For the sake of our country, we did not contest again, which was serious disappointment to our many supporters. As if, this is all that was meant for Sulunteh in the Unity Party, there is now an artificial rift being created between Ambassador Sulunteh and Dr. Henrique Tokpa for a possible vice presidential pick, which continues to hang a dark cloud over Bong County,” he told the news conference.

He then expressed thanks and appreciation to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the level of support given him during his service in the party and the government and wished Vice PresidentBoakai, now Standard Bearer best of luck in his endeavors as he contests for the Liberian presidency in the October 10th elections.

The governing UP has been beset by exodus of senior officials notably beginning with Mr. Musa Hassan Bility, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s campaign manager for Montserrado County, Forestry Development Authority Managing Director Harrison Kanwea and the latest, Amb. Sulunteh.

Responding to the growing exit on Tuesday upon his return from the United States, UP Standard Bearer Vice President Joseph Boakai said any partisan has a choice to remain with the ruling establishment or leave to pursue his or her dreams.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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