16 May 2017

Liberia: House to Endorse Veep Boakai On Thursday

Partial view of lawmakers who are endorsing the presidential bid of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai in the upcoming elections

At least thirty three (33) members of the House of Representatives have registered their names on a resolution to support the presidential bid of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai at the October polls, the Daily Observer gathered over the weekend. The newspaper also learnt that the leadership of the House has targeted 12 more lawmakers to join the endorsement exercise.

An executive member of the House leadership, Representative Prince Moye, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview via mobile phone yesterday that Representatives whose names have already been enlisted to endorse VP Boakai's presidential bid have tentatively scheduled the formal program for the official endorsement to take place on Thursday, May 18, in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building.

Rep. Moye is an executive of the ruling Unity Party.

"For now, there are 33 Representatives who have written their names to support the candidacy of the UP standard bearer and have therefore tentatively scheduled the program for Thursday, May 18," Rep. Moye said. "The House leadership will conclude the listing of Representatives that would endorse VP Boakai's presidential bid and date of the program on today, Tuesday."

Rep. Moye is the chairman on the Joint Committee on Ways, Means and Finance of the Legislature, and the UP 2017 Convention chairman. He said that the unveiling of the lawmakers' commitment is to demonstrate their support for the Vice President. He did not say how much each Representative will be contributing to Boakai's campaign as compared to the 18 Senators who promised to contribute US$1,000 each for five months.

Unconfirmed reports gathered said Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay and Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue are part of the Representatives who are poised to endorse Boakai's candidacy.

The support of the Vice President by members of the House of Representatives comes in the wake of a recent program in the Capitol Building wherein 19 senators from 14 counties endorsed the presidential bid of Vice President Boakai on Thursday, May 11.

It may be recalled that in the endorsement statement read by Grand Kru County Senator Peter Coleman, the Senators noted that the Vice President was chosen from among the other presidential candidates due to his humility, resourcefulness, experience and, most importantly, his reliability and stable-mindedness in making decisions.

Sen. Coleman said the presidency of the country is beyond just being a Senator, and is for someone who commands respect in managing people.

"From what we continue to experience, this election is a one-rounder, and it will help government to save resources from printing ballots for a run-off," Coleman assured the gathering.

Vice President Boakai, who is also President of the Senate, thanked the lawmakers and said if 19 of 30 Senators he interacts with daily decided that he is the most suitable candidate for the presidency, it shows that the people have spoken because, according to the V.P., the Senators were elected based on the majority of their compatriots who reposed their confidence in them.

"I agree that we need to make it a one round thing," Boakai said.

The program was also attended by former lawmakers; prominent among them was former Senate Pro Tempore Cletus Segbe Wotorson, who thanked the Senators for completing what they had earlier envisioned while at the Capitol Building.


In a related development, the Liberia Holding Consortium (LHC) has released the first of a series of polls on the 2017 elections, according to a press release yesterday.

The Principal of the LHC, former Press Union president Abdullai Kamara, said the poll considered key population areas in eight counties over a ten-day period.

The LHC poll results showed Vice President Joseph Boakai as the lead candidate, followed by George Weah (Coalition for Democratic Change) and Charles Brumskine (Liberty Party) from a list of seven candidates.

Using a sample space of 275 persons, the results showed 29.45% of total respondents favoring VP Boakai, 22.18% for Weah and 16% for Brumskine.

The results further showed that respondents were significantly undecided (23.27%) on a choice for Vice President, while Bong Senator Jewel H. Taylor was favored by 19.27%. This segment of the poll required respondents to provide the name of their choice.

In addition, the result showed potential county leads for various candidates including: Lofa and Margibi for Boakai; Montserrado, Bomi and Grand Gedeh for Weah; Bassa for Brumskine; and Nimba for All Liberia Party's Benoni Urey. The results for Bong County showed Urey and VP Boakai in a tie.

While each county showed differences in expectations of the government, respondents generally cited their main concerns as education, health, jobs, roads, and agriculture.

The polls also collected a list of possible lawmakers that respondents find favorable per county.

According to the LHC, the next poll will be held at the end of May and will continue monthly until the elections.


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