More first-time voters favor Weah
By Naneka A. Hoffman
Majority of potential first-time voters interviewed by this paper say they will vote for incumbent President George Manneh Weah in support of his second-term bid.
Some of the reasons they have cited include road projects undertaken by the Weah-led administration, payment of WAEC fees especially for public school students, and efforts toward electricity.
This paper carried out a random sampling of young people’s views Thursday, 9 February 2023 to establish who might be their preferred presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.
Mr. Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) will be seeking a second six-year term this October in the presidential and legislative elections.
Several opposition leaders including former Liberian Vice President Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai and ex-Coca Cola Executive-turned politician Mr. Alexander B. Cummings are also seeking the nation’s highest office.
But a persistent political divide among opposition leaders appears to drive potential first-time voters toward Mr. Weah.
A few of the potential first-time voters interviewed said they will vote for Amb. Boakai.
Some political observers think the trend Liberian politics is taking, mainly among young people, maybe frustration among those whose hopes have been dashed by opposition leaders’ persistent internal fight.
To ascertain first-time voters’ views, this paper visited Clara Town, Vai Town, Bye-Pass in Monrovia, and King Gray in Paynesville.
In an interview, 18-year-old Robert Kuoh, a resident of Clara Town Community on the Bushrod Island said he will vote for President Weah because the incumbent has brought changes.
According to Kuoh, President Weah changed the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) school uniforms, and he also completed road projects that began during former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s regime.
Losine V. Kamara, also an 18-year-old boy from Bye-Pass Community in Monrovia explained that he will vote for President Weah.
Kamara stated that President Weah has a good legacy, adding that the incumbent reduced school fees and built roads.
Ms. Lydia Tommy, an 18-year-old girl from the King Gray Community in Paynesville pledged to vote for President Weah because of ongoing development in the country under his regime.
She praised President Weah for bringing electricity and water to the country.
For his part, 18-year-old Jonah Zarbah from the King Gray Community vowed to vote for President Weah he has the country at heart and he cares for his people.
Zarbah, President Weah has carried out some developments such as roads, electricity, and the construction of playgrounds for children.
Also speaking, Eugene Teah, an 18-year-old boy from King Gray said he will be voting for President Weah because President Weah carried out road development in some of the counties.
According to him, President Weah is helping young people with their education.
Additionally, 18-year-old Ben Kardor from Vai Town Community on Bushrod Island said he will vote for President Weah in appreciation of his road projects and development in the health sector.
Jebbeh Burphy, an 18-year-old student, explained that she will vote for President Weah because has constructed roads, and his government pays the West African Senior School Certificate Exam (WASSCE) fees for students.
George Grant, an 18-year-old man from Clara Town pledged his vote for President Weah for constructing roads. He said President Weah also plans to construct a football field in Clara Town.
Few of the first-time voters pledging their votes for Amb. Boakai includes an 18-year-old girl, Satta Manobah from Clara Town. She said she will vote for Baokai because he is free from corruption.
Another supporter of Mr. Boakai is Jabbie Ebrassa, a 19-year- old boy from Clara Town.
Ebrasa said he will vote Amb. Boakai because he didn’t see the change he wanted in the Weah administration.
Additionally, Mohammed Talawaley, an 18-year-old boy from Vai Community said he will vote for Amb. Boakai because the CDC-led government is not giving support to the youth.