Three counties in western Liberia have reportedly pledged support for the candidacy of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai in the 2017 general and presidential elections.
Bomi, Grand Mount and Gbarpolu Counties reportedly reached the decision in a meeting held over the weekend in Bomi following thorough consultations among executives and members of the governing Unity Party in the western region.
According to state radio ELBC, UP partisans in the region said it is by no mistake that the party’s leaderships from the three counties have unanimously decided to support VP Boakai in the upcoming primary of the party, slated for Bong County in July.
Mr. Boakai is being challenged for the primary by economist and diplomat, Dr. Toga Gaywea McIntosh. The UP officials reportedly maintained Vice President Boakai possesses all political attributes to take the party to election, and subsequently lead Liberia if elected in 2017.
Among party executives reportedly present at the weekend meeting include UP secretary general Wilmot Paye, who challenged the leadership of the three counties to stand firm in their decision to carry the vice standard to the primary, saying “The decision you make here today will speak for yourself tomorrow; this should not be seeing as if your leadership in this region has been forced to support someone of no interest; we want the best for our party.”
Mr. Paye emphasized that it is not about just pledging support to a candidate, but to get involved in activities that would help to improve the governing party that is on the verge of completing two terms in power since 2005.
Paye further stressed, “If your supported candidate lost the primary, it is not all to it; we all have to work as a team if we want good for the party, our citizens, and the country at large.”
He said the idea of declaring support for a particular person in any form of election should be based on thorough investigation, evaluation, including the person’s character.
Responding to a petition from his kinsmen at the Voinjama town hall in Lofa County early this year, Vice President Boakai said, “I come before you today, humbled by a vision for a brighter future for our country, mindful of the enormous challenges of our moments in history; and determined to act boldly and collectively on behalf of all Liberians to accept your petition to contest the presidency of our country in 2017. I believe in you and that together, we can build a strong Liberia with our own wealth and resources.”
The Vice President said his growing up experiences as a challenged and underprivileged child, should inspire him to a government policy that lifts people everywhere out of poverty, adding “Farmers will own their own land and crops, and they will be able to sell at fair market price. Inflation is an evil because it eats away the middle class.”
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne