Liberia is not short of former presidential candidates, who have contested for the highest office of land, but unsuccessfully in past elections.
However, none of them except current President George Manneh Weah, Senators Varney Sherman and Prince Y. Johnson have come from the presidential race to vie for the senate.
As Liberians prepare for the senatorial by-election for Montserrado County and the midterm senatorial poll in 2020, the New Dawn begins a series on what chances lie ahead for ex-presidential candidates if they were to contest for seats in the Liberian Senate, which could position them to start serving the people they professed to love so dearly, commencing with former Liberian presidential candidate and diplomat, Nathaniel Milton Barnes.
A career diplomat, Ambassador Barnes founded the Liberian Destiny Party and contested for the presidency in 2005, going against veteran politicians like Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and scores of others, but lost.
However, he accepted an offer from former President and served as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States where he served faithfully until he was recalled.
During the 2005 race, he vied on a platform of Reconciliation, Positive Change, Self Reliance and the emergence of a New Breed of Liberian leaders, who are first and foremost, Managers that exhibit key qualities of Character, Competence, and Courage.
His Liberia Destiny Party founded in January 2004 emerged as a national political institution focused on initiating positive economic, social and political change in Liberia by aggressively pursuing justice, reconciliation and tenants of self reliance while challenging Liberians to take their common destiny into their own hands.
However, keen political observers believe Amb. Barnes and other ex-presidential candidates in the country have an opportunity come 2020 to go for the senate to help breed a caliber of public servants with impeccable records that Liberia currently yearns for.
A politician, diplomat and financial experts he could be very useful at the senate in debating and dissecting Liberia’s socio-economic political and foreign policy challenges in order to reposition the country on the right trajectory for forward march.
As Minister of Finance from 1999 to 2002 under former President Charles Ghankay Taylor, he oversaw and implemented a new Tax Code for Liberia in consultation with the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund, conceptualized and developed a proposal for a Summit of Post-Conflict Nations in Africa where issues relevant to the peculiar and unique experiences of such countries would be analyzed with the objective of formulating a plan for post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation, in partnership with the African Development Bank and other multilateral institutions.