Former presidential candidate David M. Farhat says many Liberians consider Vice President Joseph NyumahBoakai as the President of Liberia, which is not, stressing that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Boakai are not co-equals.
Speaking to this paper in an interview on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, Mr. Farhat, also an ex-minister of finance, said political parties only conduct elections for standard bearer to contest for the presidency and anyone who wins chooses a running mate from any of the 15 counties to contest in a national election.
He further explained that such person should be able to draw his or her followers to the party in order to help achieve a successful victory at the polls, adding that when the election is over, the president takes superiority and has no constitutional right to dismiss the Vice President but could make him inactive or nominal.
His comments come in the wake of criticisms from many quarters against incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai for not speaking out on ills in the government. Mr. Boakai, who has been elected standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party is vying for the Presidency in the 2017 elections.
According to Mr. Farhat, the President has the authority to appoint and dismiss cabinet ministers and superintendents, among others because he or she is the one who has placed them in those positions.
He said the Vice President may give the President pieces of advice in private, but if for any reason he or she does not listen, the VP has no power to enforce them.
He said the President also watches over the Vice President in everything he does officially, emphasizing that if it doesn’t please him or her, she could now look to her ministers to help in propagating her programs and goals.
He however noted that the Vice President should be careful as whatever he does could be viewed from different perspective or misinterpreted. The ex-standard bearer of the Liberia National Union or LINU said Vice President Boakai is not the one to develop Liberia, but rather President Sirleaf, stressing that the monies he earns is just for him and his family.
Mr. Farhat disclosed that due to old age, he has no plan to contest for the Presidency comes 2017, but added this does not mean he will keep silent on societal ills, vowing to become more proactive and watchful at the body politics gets in full swim next year. “I will speak on issues that affect the Liberian society,” he concluded.