16 May 2017

Liberia: 'PYJ Under Pressure'

Nimba County Senator and political leader of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Prince Yormie Johnson, aliased PYJ, is said to be under extreme pressure from senior partisans of his party to commit himself to the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) which united the MDR, Liberia National Union (LINU) of Nathaniel Blama and the All Liberian Party (ALP) of businessman Benoni Urey.

13 out of the 15 county chairpersons of the MDR reportedly held a meeting in Monrovia over the weekend, to seek commitment from their political leader.

The county chairpersons who begged for anonymity said they convened the meeting to reaffirm the MDR's commitment to the coalition signed on April 21, 2017 in Monrovia between the MDR, LINU and the ALP.

During the meeting, it is reported that staunch members of the MDR cautioned Senator Johnson to commit himself to the process and allow the JTC to conclude its findings.

Also, the concerned MDR partisans have planned to reconvene an extraordinary session upon the return of the political leader to engage him firsthand to uphold what they called the spirit and intent of the declaration.

Days after the MDR entered an arrangement with the ALP and LINU, Senator Johnson denounced the arrangement, saying his party would not attend any convention under the newly formed coalition with the ALP and LINU, until the necessary required modalities are worked out to determine who heads the coalition as standard bearer.

"I cannot go under Brother Urey (Benoni Urey); he is a good man, but politically, I have been tested and proven, and my principle must stand. My character and integrity will be at stake if I ever went under him," said PYJ in an ELBC Radio interview in Monrovia in April 2017.

He preempted that going to a convention with the ALP leader would be unnecessary because "Urey has money and he could use his money to influence or coerce anybody to go to convention and defeat him."

"The New Elections Law says when you are with a party and form a coalition, and are beaten, you cannot go independent. So I am smart, and very brilliant. Everything will be settled out here before the next course of action," he added.

Senator Johnson said the technical team of the coalition will first be put together with the task to determine who gets to be standard bearer.

The MDR's Political leader recounted how other politicians such as former contestants including Varney G. Sherman (2005), Clemenceau Urey (2009) and Robert Sirleaf (2014), were defeated by their respective opponents, "because they lacked the numbers with all their money."


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