By Bill W. Cooper
If endorsements were anything to go by, George Weah and Joseph Boakai, would be headed for a penalty shoot-out in the run-off elections scheduled for next Tuesday across the country.
The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and opposition Unity Party (UP) are neck-to-neck in floods of endorsements; though unprecedented but it is a show of support by each contenting party in the upcoming electoral process.
With barely a week until the momentous voting day, all eyes are now fixed on the CDC and the impact their endorsement will have on the electorate as well as those lavished on Boakai and his UP because some of the endorsing parties or individuals could not even pull percentage onto themselves as candidates in the just ended first round of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections in their districts of counties.
Weah’s CDC got 804,087 while Boakai’s UP got 796,961, amounting to the two highest though none reached 50 percent to qualify as a winner in the first round as Wade Edward Appleton of Grassroot Democratic Movement who even emerged third got 40, 271 while Lusinee Kamara of ALCOP got 35, 988 votes emerging fourth and CPP’s Cummings got 29, 613 emerging fifth followed by Tiawan Gongloe’s LPP with 26, 394 putting him in the sixth place.
Allen Brown of the LRP tailed on with 15, 607 placing him seventh; followed by businessman Simeon Freeman’s MPC with 13, 205 claiming eight place and William Weah Tuider’s DNA snatched ninth place with 11, 184 and Joshua Tunner’s NLP with 9,813 votes in the tenth place while Jeremiah Whapoe’s VOLT was in the rank of eleventh place with 9, 149 votes.
Luther Yorfee’s REBUILDERS was at twelfth place with 6, 479 votes and Bendu Kromah an independent candidate got 5, 991 votes at thirteenth place; fourteenth place Clarence Mulbah’s LINU got 5, 298 votes; Sherikh Kouyateh’s LFM was placed in the fifteenth place with 5, 100 votes; David Kiamu of DPPL who pledged his support to the UP at the heel of the election still got 5, 086 votes placing him in sixteenth place.
Alexander Kollie’s RNC got 4, 398 votes; while Sara Beysolow Nyanti’s ALL got 3, 644 votes; Robert Morris an independent candidate got 3, 363 votes and Richard Miller’s LFP got 2, 885 votes.
With these numbers. Presidential candidates, political parties’ youth leagues, women consortium, prominent citizens, including defeated and victorious Representative and Senatorial candidates, among others have been trying to find relevance with either of the parties set for the runoff.
Interesting is that President Weah whom nineteen of the presidential candidates claim to have contested against is now their ‘darlingboy’ to continue on his mantra though their platforms outlined how under his reign there were rampant corruption, mysterious killings, lack of transparency, broken economy, among others.
Weah is now being celebrated and endorsed by these very same political parties and individuals; and these are show of support the CDC and Weah himself do not take for granted; ignoring all the ill comments in search of votes to support their reelection bid.
Already on the side of the CDC are the CPP except for Cummings; the ALP; defeated Senatorial candidate Edith Gongloe-Weh and the vice standard bearer of the All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP), Mathew V.Z Darblo, presidential candidate Joshua Tuner; ALCOP Margibi County chapter, United People’s Party (UPP), Grand Bassa County Senator-elect, Gbehzohngar M. Findley, and the CPP Bong County defeated Rep. candidate, Jonah Nulee Togbah.
Also, adding to the list of the CDC endorsements are outgoing Rep. Larry P. Yanquoi, including 10 opposition political parties’ youth leagues, as well as several chiefs and elders across the country, Mont. defeated senatorial candidate, Chernor M. Jalloh, and some Executive Members of Gongloe’s LPP and female defeated legislative candidate network.
The 10 political parties’ youth leagues include the ANC, African Liberation League (ALL), Liberia Rebuilding Party (LRP), All Liberian Party (ALP), and the Liberian People’s Party (LPP); Liberia National Union (LINU), Liberty Party (LP), All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP), the Movement for Progress Change (MPC) and the National Democratic Coalition (NDC); though the party suspended its member for purporting as youth league head and falsely subjecting the party’s support to CDC.
Those institutions, in their respective endorsement speeches, said their decision was based on the CDC’s charismatic leadership and staunch commitment to national development, which they said has captured the attention and support of a wide range of voters.
According to them, Weah’s CDC ideology, which centers around empowerment, economic growth, and social justice, education, health, and roads, has resonated strongly with the electorate, making them a formidable choice in the election.
The UP though received major endorsements but key among political institutions are the first three with the highest votes succeeding the two leading parties which and they are ALCOP, LPP; Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh; presidential candidate Bendu Kromah, while presidential candidate Edward Appleton is also expected to endorsed the UP Today.
Others are the NDC, Gbarpolu County Senator-elect, Amara Konneh, Dr. Henry B. Fahnbulleh; former Associate Justice, Kabineh Ja’neh; former BBC Liberia Correspondent, Jonathan Paye-Layleh; Nimba County District 8 Rep.-elect, Saye Mianah; several defeated Mont. District 5 Rep. candidates, and Sinoe County defeated Senator, Milton Teahjay, among others.
As the countdown to the run-off election continues, the choice before the electorate becomes more crucial than ever, as voters are not evaluating the merits and track records of the two candidates, weighing their policies, promises, and visions rather the votes are being swayed on a matter of vengeance and deep hatred as well as love for money.
This indicates that the preceding days to the run-off election might be charged with political fervor, as both parties intensify their efforts to win the hearts and minds of the electorate, with the expectation of more endorsements in the coming days.
Who Wins Liberia’s Presidency? …As Weah, Boakai Endorsements Heap
By Bill W. Cooper