Political Parties, Politicians Split On Support For George Weah, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf For Run Off Election


By Josephus Moses Gray
Monrovia, Liberia


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
October 25, 2005


With the second round of the 2005 presidential election now set for November 8 between the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) of Amb. George Weah and the Unity Party (UP) of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, intense political maneuvering and lobbying characterized by deep seated division appears to be dominating political parties and other interest groupings.

According to our investigation, the National Patriotic Party (NPP) convened a day long meeting at its Sinkor offices recently in other to reach a consensus on whom to pledge its entire support to during the runoff.

Accordingly, that goal could not be achieved as some top officials of the party seem to be embracing the possibilities of supporting Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf while a good number of the party’s “die-hard” recounted the immeasurable number of political differences that existed between Madam Sirleaf and exile former President Charles G. Taylor who was one of the lead founders and first Standard Bearer of the party.

As for the Liberia People’s Party (LPP), it appears to be seriously divided on who to support as top officials of the CDC have embarked on holding pleasantries with top brass of the LPP.

Our source further revealed that Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh’s unwillingness to embrace the Unity Party is against the backdrop that top officials of the LPP including Dr. Amos Sawyer, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe among other, earlier give their backing to the Unity Party at the expense of the LPP.

But information emanating from the veteran politician, Dr. Tipoteh, quotes him as saying that his support for Madam Sirleaf means supporting Charles Taylor. Although he did not state the link between Mr. Taylor and Madam Sirleaf.

In the meantime, other top brass of the LPP and their newly marriage, the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD) including Dr. Marcus Dahn, and Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, are said to be considering the need to ensure that the UP defeat the CDC at the November 8 runoff despite their differences with Madam Sirleaf on key issues over the past years.

Some of the pro-APD supporters who are now on board the UP said the reason for their support is that Madam Sirleaf has a clearer understanding of the issues in Liberia and is closer to them in principles then the CDC.

The Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia (FAPL) of Dr. Margaret Thompson has already given their support to Madam Sirleaf and the UP.

As for COTOL’s Standard Bearer, Cllr. Varney Sherman who had earlier been in deep talks with officials of CDC, yesterday announced his support for the CDC and called on all partisans of COTOL to do same. The youth wing and some officials of COTOL, however, say they will support Madam Sirleaf.

Our investigations also discovered that the Standard Bearer of the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) Cllr. Winston Tubman is trapped between his desire to lead the party to make a free choice, while some officials of the party have vowed to sway to the Unity Party despite the political differences that existed between them and Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Already, the All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP) of Alhaji G.V. Kromah and the Progressive Democratic Party (PRODEM) of Sekou Demate Conneh have all pledged their support for the CDC.

Besides, the Standard Bearer of the Liberia Equal Rights Party, Dr. Joseph Z. D. Korto, has boosted the chances of the Unity Party of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by accepting to spearhead the Unity Party’s campaign in Nimba County in the run-off election slated for November 8.

Addressing a press briefing Saturday at his party headquarters on Lynch Street, Dr. Korto indicated that this latest action followed the intense scrutiny of the platforms of the UP and that of the CDC that brought the Equal Rights Party and it’s grassroots supporters to the realization that Madam Sirleaf possesses the best credentials and experience to lead Liberia towards peace, reconciliation and economic development.

He pointed out that the Unity Party’s platform reflects the hopes and aspirations of the Liberian people especially it’s focus on education, agriculture, civil service reform and it’s anti corruption policy that are key to Liberia’s recovery.

He further said that the Equal Rights Party recognizes Madam Sirleaf’s desire to restore Liberia’s lost image, form an all inclusive government that would represent the diversity of present day Liberia.

Dr. korto who also pulled a good number of votes in the just ended polls attracted attention from the two parties noted that he was approached by the CDC and Up but decided to join ranks with the Unity Party of Madam Sirleaf because of competence. He however, cautioned Liberians that for the speedy transformation of their war torn nation after 14 years of war and misery and human suffering there is no time for a “trial and error leadership.

Giving reasons why he refused to signed the statement that evolved from a peace meeting between Grand Gedeh And Nimba elders, Dr. Korto said he was earlier informed that the meeting was solely about peace between citizens of Nimba and Grand Gedeh but he noted that the meeting that was held at a local restaurant turned out to be a ”pro-George Weah Meeting” as the speakers at the meeting spoke more of George Weah and his CDC than they did of the real agenda of the meeting.

He then expressed his willingness to support genuine peace initiative in the interest of the nation. In a related development, the Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine and the New Deal Movement of Dr. George Klay Kieh said they would not support any of the two candidates in the runoff election.

The former first lady of Liberia, Madam Jewel Howard-Taylor who won the Bong County senior senatorial seat in the county has pledged her full support for Madam Sirleaf, while the National Patriotic Party (NPP) Vice Standard Bearer, Somah Paygai has also pledged his support to the CDC of Mr. Weah.

Similarly, the Vice Standard Bearer of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD) , Dr. Marcus Dahn has indicated his support to the Unity Party flag-bearer, Madam Sirleaf. Dr. Dahn hails from Nimba County, while unconfirmed report indicated that the Vice Standard Bearer of the NDPL, Mr. Jeremiah Sulunteh has pledged his support to Madam Sirleaf. Mr. sulunteh hails from Bong County.

The Standard Bearer of the National Party of Liberia, Mr. Armah Zolu Jallah has given his backing to Madam Sirleaf. Mr. Jallah is a son of Gbarpolu County.

The Vice Standard Bearer of the National Reformation Party, Mr. Martin Sheriff has pledged his support to the CDC flag-bearer; he is from Grand Cape Mount County, while the flag-bearer of the Union of Liberian Democrats, Dr. Robert Kpoto has indicated his support to George Weah.

As for the Standard-Bearer of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Roland Massaquoi, he has urged his partisans to vote for any of the two candidates in the runoff election.