By Olando Testimony Zeongar
MONROVIA – Ahead of Unity Party’s standard bearer, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai (JNB) selection of his running-mate for the 10 October presidential election, Smart News Liberia has reliably gathered that Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence and controversial talk radio presenter Henry Costa, who were previously shortlisted, are now out of contention.
Ambassador Boakai is expected to announce his vice presidential running-mate at a planned elaborate ceremony, at his Unity Party’s Broad Street Headquarters, on Friday, 28 April 2023, with speculations being rife that he’s poised to pick vote-rich Nimba County Senator, Jeremiah Kpan Koung, one of three forerunners on a shortlist of individuals the UP standard bearer has been intensively working with.
Howbeit, in a statement released to the press on the eve of the UP standard bearer’s running-mate pronouncement, Senator Karnga-Lawrence divulged that Joe Boakai has already informed her that he has decided neither to pick her, nor Costa, who is the opposition All Liberian Party’s choice for vice presidential running-mate to JNB.
She disclosed that despite both her political institution, the Liberty Party (LP), and the All Liberian Party (ALP), have for over two years, fostered a partnership with JNB and the Unity Party, the former vice president informed the LP and ALP that he has made up his mind to choose his running mate for the pending presidential election outside of the two political parties.
“About two years ago, we embarked on a mission with the Unity Party to begin the process of providing a new direction for our country. It has been a period, however, that has seen the Liberian people yearning for a change of leadership in the governance system of our country and expressing their approval for a team they would wish to see chart a new course for Liberia,” she noted.
Although Karnga-Lawrence acknowledges that consistent with the country’s democratic tradition, choosing a vice presidential running-mate is the prerogative of a given Standard-Bearer, she revealed that following a recent meeting with the executive leadership of the LP, in which she informed the party’s leadership of her conversation with JNB, the LP executive leadership has unanimously resolved to do series of consultations, after which the party will be endorsing legislative candidates and a presidential ticket for the 10 October elections.
“Consistent with our Party’s tradition, the executive leadership has unanimously resolved at its sitting to consult our various structures across the country and in the diaspora, in line with the party’s tradition to seek approval for the endorsement of legislative candidates and Presidential ticket. The consultations have begun, and upon conclusion, the public, our partisans and supporters will be duly informed of our direction for the 2023 elections,” the embattled Political Leader of the LP emphasized.
She then admonished partisans and supporters of the LP to remain calm as leaders of the party conclude consultations leading to candidates the party would support for the 10 October general and presidential elections.
“Let it not be forgotten that we embarked on this journey with a deep commitment to work with like-minded forces to bring about real and positive change in the governance of our dear country and to give the Liberian people a government that they truly deserve,” she reminded partisans and supporters of Liberty Party, adding, “Throughout this process, we have always demonstrated that our loyalty to country is stronger and more significant than our personal ambition, and certainly stronger than our loyalty to individual(s).”
“Together, we can do better,” said Karnga-Lawrence, who expressed gratitude to members of the public for standing with her in what she referred to as building the momentum in the direction of the 2023 general and presidential elections, especially in respect of a change team that she said the public had envisaged – “We are very grateful,” she stated.