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GeneralLiberia news

Will they stay on?

–As Boakai’s VP pick may hurt allies

By Winston W. Parley

All is set to know officially as of Friday, 28 April 2023, who becomes the running mate of Liberia’s main opposition leader Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai for the 2023 presidential elections.

But curiosities are also high across Liberia as to whether Boakai’s choice of a running mate will not drive some of his long-time allies to different political camps out of frustration.

Initially, there were public suggestions that former Coca-Cola Executive, now leader of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP)/Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings be chosen as Boakai’s running mate on the once formidable CPP ticket.

The original version of the CPP made up of four political parties, collapsed after internal political struggles that led to court cases. It’s now made up of a faction of the Liberty Party and the ANC.

After years of failed recommendation to have a united opposition field Amb. Boakai and Mr. Cummings on a single presidential ticket, attention has been shifted to three major forces for the slot so far.

Top on the list in the past few months have been Grand Bassa County Senator and Liberty Party leader Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence; and Nimba County Senator and Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction leader Jeremiah Koung.

Though not frequently mentioned as Koung and Karnga-Lawrence for Boakai’s VP slot, there have been some suggestions that human rights lawyer Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe could make a good running mate for Boakai, among others.

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Meanwhile, there have been speculations out there that the favourite of the three candidates might be Koung, a son of vote-rich Nimba County and an ally of long-serving Nimba County Senator and political godfather, Prince Y. Johnson.

Ahead of Boakai naming his running mate, local broadcasters have reported Johnson allegedly assuring his people in Nimba that Boakai will choose Koung.

There have been suggestions in the public that whichever way Boakai turns in picking a running mate, there might be a sense of hard feelings among those who might feel let down after years of fighting together for a ticket to unseat incumbent President George Manneh Weah.

What remains to be seen is whether the former vice president and his Unity Party officials can manage to maintain the political support of whoever feels unhappy about not being selected as his running mate.

Already, a local broadcaster reported in Monrovia Thursday evening that the opposition Liberty Party has vowed it will give its partisans a direction.

The station said Nyonblee has urged her partisans to respect Boakai’s decision on picking a running mate. 

Some in the opposition have suggested that Boakai’s VP decision would either benefit or hurt his chances of ascending to the presidency.

The 78-year-old lost the 2017 presidential elections during the run-off against incumbent President Weah.

He had sought to succeed former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf with whom he worked as vice president for 12 years from January 2006.

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One Comment

  1. JNB is ready to bring war crimes court to Liberia and his VP will help him do that; really? Or just talk, talk!

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