In his letter of resignation submitted to John S. Morlu, copy obtained by The Perspective, Hilary F. Gbunblee stated that he is resigning from the Morlu campaign because of “personal reasons best known to me and my family”. He thanked Morlu for the opportunity to serve his campaign organization.
However, shortly after leaving the Morlu campaign, Hilary Gbunblee submitted a letter of application to the national chairman of Unity Party seeking membership. Gbunlee’s letter of application read in part “…we have decided to join the Unity Party and support Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to achieve her dream to become the next president of Liberia”. The letter further stated “In our judgement, Mrs. Sirleaf is the most qualified of all the presidential hopefuls in Liberia”. In view of this, “my family has pledged to rally behind her to make Liberia what it ought to be”, the letter concluded.
Hilary Gbunblee served as the senior senator of Nimba County during the 1980s on the ticket of the Liberia Action Party (LAP). His defection to the Unity Party is not uncommon in the musical chairs of Liberian politics. Veteran politicians Gabriel Baccus Mathews (United Peoples Party), Amos Sawyer, and Dusty Wolokollie (Liberian Peoples Party), among others have reportedly abandoned their political parties to support other presidential candidates in the 2005 elections.
For Gabriel Baccus Mathews, his support for George Opong Weah is a political payback to UPP’s standard bearer Marcus Dahn who is now vice presidential candidate for the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD). The APD is a political marriage between the United Peoples Party and the Liberian Peoples Party (LPP). During the 1997 elections in Liberia, UPP’s pioneer Marcus Dahn supported Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in her presidential bid. However, this is not the first time for the Liberian Peoples Party member Dusty Wolokollie, and others to abandon LPP and support Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf. In 1997, the LPP members deserted their presidential nominee Togba-Nah Tipoteh to support Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s presidential ambition. According to a source familiar with the 1997 Liberian presidential election, Dusty Wolokollie and others deserted Togba-Nah Tipoteh because “he refused to honor the result of the alliance of political parties convention” that ended up in the election of Cletus Wotorson as the presidential candidate for the alliance.
The 2005 national elections in Liberia are shaping up to be the battle of political expediency over political principles and core values. Liberian politicians are forming political alliances irrespective of the roles some played in Liberia. Also, it is unknown what difference the political reconfiguration in Liberia means for the future of the country. Are these political realignments intended to result in a government that would seek the welfare of the Liberian people, or are they simply intended to secure jobs for the politicians involved? Based on the history of Liberian politicians, it is unlikely that the political repositioning occurring in Liberia would result in any tangible benefit to the Liberian people.