Liberia: Senator Prince Johnson Calls for Democratic Coup d'État to Unseat UP Government

Women protest outside the Elections Commission offices.

Monrovia — Senator Prince Y. Johnson of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), has called on partisans and supporters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to stage, what he termed as a democratic coup d'état against the ruling Unity party in the pending runoff election.

Senator Johnson said: "I ask you to join ranks with us to stage a national coup d'état against the Unity Party of Joseph Boakai. I ask you not to drink alcohol on Christmas Day. Keep your heads up and in the hands of God."

The MDR political leader made the call Thursday, December 14, at the headquarters of the CDC when leaders of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) joined ranks with CDC for the runoff election.

Senator Johnson, famous for his role and erratic behavior as a rebel leader in the Liberian civil crisis, call for a political coup d'état could be a call for attention.

On Thursday, December 14, selected members of the opposition Liberty Party endorsed the candidacy of Senator George Weah.

They included Mr. Harrison Karnwea, vice standard, Benjamin Sanvee, Chairman, and Musa Bility, campaign executive officer.

Hours to the endorsement hell broke loose at the headquarters of the Liberty Party when some partisans protested the decision by the Chairman and vice standard bearer to endorse the candidacy of Senator Weah.

Aggrieved partisans closed the gates to the party headquarters when partisans of the CDC on board a float attempted entering the compound as it was planned to march with the members, who had planned the endorsement, to the headquarters of the CDC, which is couple of feet down the road.

Stones and bottles were thrown at each other until the intervention of officers of the Liberian National Police.

Aggrieved partisans, who didn't support the endorsement, said the planned endorsement wasn't sanctioned by the party's political leader, who is said to be out of the country.

In an interview, Mr. Darius Dillon, LP vice chairman for Political Affairs said the party has not reached a decision on endorsement and he and other aggrieved partisans were awaiting the arrival of the party's political leader.

"Liberty Party is not a military institution; people have their individual rights to move freely if any executive member of the party, who decides individually to pledge support somewhere it is their right.

"What I can tell you is that Liberty Party, as an institution, has made no clear determination as to whom to endorse in the run-off. We are deriving at a decision that will be announced upon his arrival, and one thing I can say we will not be neutral," Dillon stressed.

In response to question as to whether the LP still holds commitment to the Ganta Declaration, he responded: "The people abandon the Ganta Declaration long time ago.

While are the people not hailing us for upholding the Farmington Declaration? When we went to court as part of the Farmington Declaration, they criticized us."

Endorsing Senator George Weah at the CDC headquarters, Liberty Party chairman confirmed that his party is divided over the decision to endorse Weah but said, he and others who took the decision were doing it in keeping with the Ganta Declaration among opposition political parties, which agreed to support an opposition party if any entered into the runoff with the ruling party.

Sanvee said: "Senator Weah, we endorse your candidacy for President of Liberia because we believe in the physical votes and because the people have spoken and because they have spoken we should listen."

"We want you to be graceful, humble and accept victory with magnanimity and to know that you are not better than others who ran but you happen to be their choice."

The LP leaders also cautioned the CDC political leader of fulfilling the hopes and ambitions of the people who he claimed are in desperation.

"Do not let your people down your story is the Liberian story, they call you their hero of the slum dwellers."

"The only difference between you and those out there is that God bless you through your legs.

"There has been road blocks and speed bumpers along the way."

"This is a sacred responsibility that is about to fall on your shoulders. As you look in the eyes of the people standing before you, I see desperation and hope and you need the potential to unlock it. Your story is the Liberian story."

In response to the endorsement Weah said, his quest as President of Liberia is to build an inclusive government in the next 12 years under his regime.

The CDC political leader promised to impress Liberians in his work as President in his first term, which would lead them to give him a second term.

He also promised not to disappoint his supporters as claimed by the LP chairman but said; "people will be disappointed if they failed to work along with his government to improve lives.

He also threw jibes at the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) for not taking control of his partisans to direct them in the second round of the elections.

"To all leaders, who said to their partisans, I will be neutral is unfortunate. As a leader, it is not right to tell your partisans to go where they want to; you could lose your supporters in future elections.

"To all my friends it is good to direct people in leadership make a decision for all and not for individuals."

"I am happy that leaders of the Liberty Party are here to work with us. We are at 99 percent but the one percent is very crucial, we need to send signal around the world to let Governments know that we are resolved.

"The car that has been parked in the garage cannot be overlooked because that car could kick and if you allow it kicks, it could run pass you; so we need to be prepared for the one percent."

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