Liberia’s ruling Unity Party (UP) says there will always be welcome for vote – rich Nimba County Sen. Prince Y. Johnson if he decides to return to the ruling party, in spite of the Senator’s declaration of support to opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC’s) quest for the presidency in the indefinitely suspended runoff between the UP and CDC.
“We respect Sen. Johnson, Sen. Johnson was originally a Unity Partisan, let me tell you this, when he vied to be our candidate in the 2005. That’s the original party, so if he comes back, you know there will always be welcome for him as we welcome lot of others here. So everything is possible,” UP executive Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan told a local talk show Tuesday, 7 November in Monrovia.
Mr. Ngafuan says the process [of political alignment] hasn’t ended yet, noting that the UP always gives space for people to come back.
“And that no matter where they went before they can come back to us. So Amb. Boakai has an outstretched arm, even for Prodigal Sons,” Ngafuan says.
The UP’s candidate Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and opposition CDC’s Sen. George Weah are two candidates designated by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to go to a runoff which was due to be conducted on 7 November.
But the process has since been suspended indefinitely by the Supreme Court of Liberia, instructing the NEC to hear and decide a challenge filed against the runoff filed by defeated opposition Liberty Party (LP) presidential candidate Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine.
Following sometime of negotiations, Sen. Johnson who also contested and lost the October 10 presidential and representatives’ elections pledged his support to Sen. Weah’s candidacy for the runoff polls.
In response to question if Sen. Johnson could come back to the UP, Mr. Ngafuan says in the political terrain everything is possible, having said earlier that “the unpredictable could do some unpredictable things”.
He maintains that movements on the part of political actors including Sen. Johnson could be expected, saying the UP is not shocked by the Nimba lawmaker’s move to support the CDC.
But he insists that the UP has a strong ground in the vote – rich Nimba County, saying the Nimba people understand where they need to go and they are with the UP. According to Ngafuan, whatever movements one of Nimba [residents] has taken is respected, saying Nimba has other respected residents too.
By Winston W. Parley