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UP’s best possible options

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With their defeat in the December 29, 2015 district#2 Representative by-election in Lofa County, partisans and executives of the ruling Unity Party would have to return to the drawing board to devise strategies that could ensure victory for their self-proclaimed standard bearer, Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, who is eying the Presidency come 2017.

The UP’s task of ensuring victory for Vice President Boakai is even made more daunting, giving its recent defeat in district#2, Lofa, the home district of Boakai, which by any calculation, should have been a testing ground for his popularity and political influence with his people, rather it was a disaster that raise more questions.

Since then, the NewDawn has been periscoping the current political landscape in the country to find names of political parties and their standard bearers with whom VP Boakai could collaborate in finding a potential running mate to brighten his chances.

It does not require a nucleus Scientist to establish that this time around, the ruling party would need marriages with some sector of the opposition to present an inclusive or broad image to the electorates in the wake of criticisms of corruption, mismanagement and poor delivery of basic social services against its nearly two terms in office.

Among possible options, VP Boakai could look into the opposition Liberty Party and collaborate with its political leader Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine to push his dream ahead. A Boakai-Brumskine ticket could significantly reconfigure the ruling party, and rekindle its dwindling popularity. Cllr. Brumskine has built a strong constituency over the years and if he could lower his presidential ambition for the Boakai-Brumskine ticket, that could lit up the UP’s candidate’s hope.

Cllr. Brunskine is an ardent campaigner for a common front and has called for a united opposition ahead of the 2017 elections. However, previous talks between the LP and Senator George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change or CDC particularly in 2005 were ill-fated, and current effort by both parties towards achieving such dream appears elusive.

The CDC has clearly stated that any conclusive collaborative talks with whosoever would not have George Weah succumbed or become running mate to any Presidential candidate. Better still, the UP presidential hopeful could form a marriage with the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia Mills Jones, whose Movement for Economic Empowerment is gaining stain. A possible Boakai-Jones ticket in 2017 could become a strong team that could revise the ailing Liberian economy.

On the other hand, the UP and the All Liberian Party of businessman Benoni Urey could become a unifying force after a bloody civil conflict that left mistrust and division among Liberians. Urey’s ALP is one of the newest political phenomenon in town and with its growing constituency could do the trick for Vice President Boakai if his dream to succeed President Sirleaf in 2017 is to be realized.

In order for any of these options to materialize, each of the political leaders of these parties and several others with strong constituencies will have to lower their political ambitions for their own political survivals.

Of course the CDC of George Weah is in no position to form any collaborative effort with the ruling party.

-By Othello B. Garblah and Jonathan Browne

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