17 October 2017

Liberia: UPP Endorses CDC

Photo: Liberian Observer
MacDonald Wento, presidential candidate of the United People's Party

Ahead of final announcement of elections results by the National Elections Commission (NEC), opposition United People's Party (UPP) has officially endorsed opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of Senator George Manneh Weah for an imminent presidential run - off expected between ruling Unity Party (UP) and the CDC this November.

Provisional results released by the NEC as of 15 October puts the UPP of presidential candidate Macdonald Wento at 8,613 ( 0.6 percent) of the votes counted so far.

The NEC is yet to officially announce a run - off yet, but Liberians are glaringly bracing for a second round between Mr. Weah's CDC and Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai's UP against the backdrop that none of the 20 presidential candidates can acquire 50 percent plus one of total votes as required under the Liberian law to be declared winner.

Over the weekend, UPP's presidential candidate Mr. Macdonald Wento along with former stalwarts of the party stormed the headquarters of the CDC in total celebrations as though Mr. Wento had miraculously been declared winner of the October polls.

But the occasion was to declare his support to the presidential bid of Senator Weah if there should be a run - off. With final results expected this Friday after 95 per cent of counting has been done, the CDC has comfortably obtained 39.0 per cent of the total votes cast ahead of UP which has 29.1 per cent.

Declaring his support to the CDC, UPP's Wento says he is back home. Wento is a founding member of the Congress for Democratic Change which now forms coalition with former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) of imprisoned ex-president Charles Ghankay Taylor and indicted former Speaker Alex Tyler's Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP).

After the formation of the CDC in 2004, Mr. Wento later parted company with the party for his political sojourn. Having miserably performed in the October elections, Mr. Wento finds comfort in quietly returning to his political home, the CDC.

He says his return with a support base of 0.6 per cent of the vote counted so far is intended to ensure that CDC wins a run - off in flying colours.

"We started this political institution years back; we left to create more avenues for others to serve. Today, we [are] back to work for the forward - match [of] our dear party," says Mr. Wento.

For his part, CDC Vice Chairman for operations Mr. Mulbah Morlu expressed thanks to the UPP for its decision to come back to the CDC.

Morlu says the political godfather of the UPP, the late Gabriel Barcus Matthews also served as the godfather to the CDC during the 2005 Presidential elections, noting that the spirit of Mr. Matthews will be celebrating as his children are mustering the courage to form a common front against someone whose life speaks, but failures.

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