The standard bearer of the governing Unity Party Vice President Joseph NyumahBoakai is playing his card tightly to his chest, not letting the public or even UP partisans to know who he intends to pick as his running mate for the October elections.
Speculations abound here about who could become a possible vice standard bearer to the man who wants take the myrtle of leadership after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with whom he has served for nearly two terms, and the guess seems endless.
Speculations are growing here that Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States Mr. Jeremiah Sulunteh has resigned to seek Vice President Boakai’s blessings for running mate on the ruling Unity Party’s ticket.
Multiple sources contacted from government offices, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia could not confirm the information. Even officials of the ruling Unity Party could not immediately respond to calls from this paper during follow-ups.
Multiple names have been emerging here as possible running mates that the Vice President make a choice, but there is not yet a clear direction as to which geographical regions of the country’s the Lofa County Statesman may look.
Prior to the latest rumor that spreads like wildfire, the central region of Bong County, where Ambassador Sulunteh hails from has persistently emerged as the county to produce the running mate. Additionally, the Liberian envoy is a stalwart of the governing UP.
At the same time other unsubstantiated reports say the Vice President may consider pairing with Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Henrique Tokpah, also from Bong. Yet still, votes- rich Nimba County like Bong County have come to the picture with names of Rep. Matornekay Tingban or Senator Thomas Grupee coming to the fore as possible choices.
When this paper contacted Liberia’s Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, who is also National Secretary General of the Unity Party repeatedly via mobile phone late Wednesday, he did not pick the calls.
But when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was contacted, the head of communication, Assistant Minister for Public Affairs Mr. J. Wesley Washington said he could not speak to claims about Mr. Sulunteh’s resignation.
He rather suggested that if Mr. Sulunteh were to resign, he would not present his resignation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but rather to President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf, who appointed him to serve as Liberia’s Ambassador to the U.S.
As such, Mr. Washington suggested that the right place to contact was the Presidency. But officials in the office of Presidential Press Secretary Mr. J. Matthew Piah had traveled and therefore could not be reached. This paper was however told the information would be checked out.
While the speculations continue to grow, it may also be recalled that the leader of the opposition Liberty Party Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine had long been speculated about as well, but the ruling UP chair Wilmot Paye recently dismissed such thoughts as unfounded.
Paye said such marriage between the UP and the LP could be like bringing together light and darkness, which have nothing in common. So the guess continues, and VP Boakai himself seems unprepared for now to let the cat out of the bag with nine months to elections.
By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne