The search for a Vice Presidential Candidate or Vice Presidential Running Mate is ongoing unabatedly in many of the registered political parties in Liberia. Up to now, however, only two political parties have officially announced their respective choice.
The choice of a VP is guided by the 19816 Constitution of Liberia. Article 51 describes the process of becoming a VP: by being on the same political ticket as the President or Political Leader of the concerned political party. Article 52 requires a natural born Liberian citizen not less than 35 years of age; be owner of real property valued at not less than $25,000.00 and to be resident in the Republic of Liberia 10 years prior to his or her election. Therefore at the level of the political party, this provision is translated into a convention process in which the political leader of the party is elected. After his/her election, it is the binding duty of the Political Leader to prudently search for, select and name a choice.
Additional to these Constitutional provisions above, we strongly urge Political Leaders to consider these six cardinal suggestions. Political Leaders should remember or know before hand, that a bad choice will defeat the party. Our six cardinal points are:
1. A VP should help and be able to bring the opposition constituency into the fold in the National Legislature.
2. A VP must have courage and determination because it is that person’s respo9nsibility to tell the President the raw facts, no matter how unpleasant or bad the factual information is. He or she must be fearless, self-confident, frank and truthful.
3. A VP must not be an exact copy of the President. A VP’s value comes from bringing different and useful political skills and abilities to the discussion table to formulate policies.
4. A VP must be able to be President. This will create confidence in the Administration. The right VP choice will send a clear message to Liberia and the world that no matter what ever happens, the Administration and Government will not fall.
5. A VP has to have and project charisma and gravitas as well as be a significant presence but he or she cannot over shadow the President. This requirement is about confidence in the Administration. The President must be the focal point for the nation, always fully aware and in charge. The VP must be a monied person.
6. The VP has to be a real partner to the President – keeping confidences and blocking attempts from within and outside the party to divide and conquer. Even if they disagree in private, which they should – but when in public, the VP and the President must stand and be together as one.
In conclusion, every political leader needs a team, and every political leader benefits from a partner who can be counted on to counsel, listen, encourage and defend in the Legislature. An excellent choice for VP can make the Political Leader decidedly stronger, smarter and much more effective.
By HSB Research Service, Inc.
• The HSB Research Service, Inc. is a Liberian startup research firm located in Johnsonville, Montserrado County. It is Liberian owned and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 0886494727.