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LINU pulls out of coalition talks

An opposition party here, the Liberia National Union or LINU has with immediate effect pulled out of coalition talks with the All Liberian Party of businessman Benoni Urey and the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction or MDR of Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson.

The trio had earlier gone to the process of forming a coalition for the October Presidential and Legislative elections.Addressing a news conference on Friday, 26 May at the party headquarters in Monrovia, LINU political leader, Nathaniel Blamah, said the deal could no longer hold on grounds that the ALP and the MDR are not determined enough to form a coalition for the elections.

He explains that one of the cardinal reasons for his party pulling out is based on ‘betrayal of confidence’ displayed by Senator Prince Johnson, lamenting that while negotiation was ongoing as it relates to the technical workings of the coalition, Senator Johnson was crying for standard bearer post, while the technical team had not reached any conclusion on who to head the coalition.

According to him, it was unfortunate for a man like Senator Johnson, who many think has numerical strength to cry wolf while serious discussionswere ongoing, noting that it created the corridor for lack of trust and confidence in the process.

Blamah continues that due to the ‘unnecessary noise’ by the Nimba County strongman, all stakeholders in the process took their respective backseats, creating room for delay and breach of confidence among members of the proposed coalition.

He cites another reason for pulling out as timetable set by the National Elections Commission for the formation of coalition, which is running out and that the interest of his party is at stake, if LINU were to remain with the process of forming coalition.

According to him, LINU may not field a presidential candidate in pending elections, but its prime target is the House of Representatives. “We’re considering of capturing more seats in the House of Representatives. For the Presidency, it is not yet known until our convention can be held, because any of our partisans may express desire for the presidency,” he adds.

Hitting hard at the Senator Johnson, Blamahsays the action of the senator points to the fact that he (Johnson) is afraid of political competition.He observes that Senator Johnson had contested in two elections as an independent candidate. “He was defeated during the Unity Party convention for the senatorial slot, he ran from there and contested as independent candidate, prior to the 2014 Special Senatorial election, Mr. Johnson, own National Union for Democratic Progress booted him for lack of confidence, he again contested as an independent candidate. These indicators point to the fact that Johnson is not strong with political party competition.”

When Senator Johnson was contacted via mobile phone for response, his private number rang endlessly without an answer.

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

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