13 January 2014

Liberia: Urey's Presidency Campaign Unfurled

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Millionaire Liberian businessman, Benoni Urey, campaigns for the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (file photo).

Monrovia — The reports of the quest by former maritime Commissioner Benoni Urey to contest the presidency come 2017 is now quite clear as some members of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and the former ruling National Patriotic Party have been collaborating to raise the banner of Urey-for-President higher and unfurled. But the outstanding issue is suggestion for Urey to ride on the popularity of the CDC as standard bearer. From time in memorial, CDC's political godfather, Ambassador has always expressed interest to contest the presidency. Will he give chance to Urey just as he did to Winston Tubman, especially in the face of opposition to one of CDC's stalwart, Samuel Tweah, Jr.? This argument remains unresolved at the meeting of pro-Urey supporters in Congo Town.

The ANALYST's Edwood Dennis was in the area and reports.

Crusade by an executive of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change, CDC, against former Maritime Commissioner and Businessman Mr.

Benoni Urey's quest to contest the Liberian presidency seems to be falling on a rocky political soil as reports of meetings in the camps of former National Patriotic Party (NPP) and CDC aimed at supporting Urey's bid has surfaced in Monrovia.

The ANALYST has gathered that a meeting of more than 200 partisans of the CDC and the former ruling National Patriotic Party NPP in Congo town near Monrovia was mainly focused on how they market Mr. Urey through the approbation of Ambassador George Weah on the CDC's ticket.

This latest development contrasts crusade by the CDC's 2011 Campaign Spokesman, Samuel Tweah, Jr., who has been critical of late against the intention by Mr. Urey to contest the presidential race in 2017. Tweah told an intellectual gathering in Monrovia that Urey and his likes who served in previous regimes have squandered their chances by allegedly plundering state resources.

According to Mr. Tweah, Urey and officials of former regimes had the opportunity to transform Liberia, but they did not, noting that Urey's intention to contest the presidency of Liberia in 2017 as he expressed it at this time was not meant to run on the ticket of the opposition CDC; he rather noted that Urey intends to raise supporters within the CDC which he [Urey] wants to influence to another political party to support his political ambition.

But information gathered by this paper has indicated the contrary. An insider told The ANALYST that the Urey-for-President supporters' first strategy discussed in the meeting was to firstly engage Ambassador George Weah to accept Mr. Urey as standard bearer for the CDC.

This strategy, the Urey for president supporters believe, will make it easier to have the presidential hopeful marketed to the electorates for highest position of the land.

The information has also indicated that the more than 200 would-be supporters of the Mr. Urey for president campaign are also concerned with politically marketing Urey not only across Liberia, but also in the Diaspora for the race.

However, a strong supporter of the CDC, Martha Bolley , said Urey could become president outside CDC support. Madam Bolley noted that the Urey-for-president campaign team needs to prove critics wrong by being focused.

Another supporter of the CDC, Francis Tokpah, indicated that he has never been at the frontline of the CDC politics, but vows to do so in the wake of the negative campaign and the sustained attacks against Mr. Urey by Samuel Tweah in the CDC.

For his part, Flomo Kollie, who identified himself as a supporter of the NPP believed that it would be a good political home-coming for Mr. Urey should he contest on the ticket of the NPP.

Mr. Kollie stated that it would be a good opportunity for the NPP to make Urey the standard-bearer of to reflect the image and presence of Mr. Charles Taylor at the level of the NPP and to the general public.

The Standard Bearer of the former ruling party is Taylor's divorced wife, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor of Bong County.

Like Martha, Francis, Flomo, several other persons have agreed to preach Mr. Benoni Urey's presidency and campaign for him their respective communities and even beyond. Amongst the Urey-for-President Campaigners who have been meeting are Papie Toe, Barclay Smith, Banama Cooper, Louis Roland, Siafa Varney, Gbono Momolu.

The Urey's supporters have vowed to reach out ahead of financial support from Mr. Urey, stressing that it would demonstrate their commitment of true love for Mr. Benoni Urey's presidential bid in 2017.

Organizers of the meeting have begun brainstorming on a particular name to identify them as a group. Among those several names suggested for consideration by Mr. Urey were “Urey's Citizens Movement (U-C Movement), Campaign for Urey's Presidency (Camp-Urey), Citizen United for Urey's Presidency (CUUP).

But one thing that remains unresolved at the meeting is whether Mr. Urey should contest the presidency on a ticket of a political party, especially the CDC or the NPP.

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