2017 Presidency Opinion Poll Update: Liberians Are Confused As Political Merger Heats Up

Our pollsters say Liberians throughout the country are pondering over this latest development in the political camps of two of Liberia’s main opposition political parties, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Liberty Party (LP) with plans of possible merger.
According to them, they hoped this new political development between the two political parties will be in the interest of all Liberians, that the issue of sincerity will be proven.

In this light, Liberians are still questioning each others as to who can really be trusted to rule the country after the departure of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from the nation’s highest seat, the presidency.

As the much anticipated 2017 general and presidential elections draw closer, voters, residents and political analysts alike are examining the most plausible candidates, and indeed the likely choice as to whom the voters might submit their votes.   Obviously, there are many registered political parties and presidential aspirants. However, not all of them are amusing the voters according to polling by the West Africa Pollster, a subsidiary of GNN-Liberia.

NOTE:  The West Africa Pollster uses random sampling to obtain a full representation of the Liberian population. That means all members of the Liberian population have an equal probability of being selected. Our pollsters do not revisit targeted or specific and usual locations, nor call the same group of people repeatedly. Instead our pollsters specifically find ways to include those who are not accessible as well as those who are readily accessible in order to represent everyone. West Africa Pollster’s polling associates randomly visit Liberian communities (rural and urban) as well as call individual’s cell phones from our available list to obtain a pretty good, but not, perfect sample.

As of this midweek, Wednesday November 4, 2015, West Africa Pollster gathered polling data and related information and views regarding the candidacy and likability of the following key Liberian Presidential aspirants: Current Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP), Dr. Mills Jones, Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and political leader of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Montserrado County Senator George Manneh Weah who is the political leader of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Counsellor Charles Walker Brumskine, leader of the Liberty Party (LP), Jones Nhinson Williams, a Liberian visionary and political leader of the New Liberia Party, and Simeon Freeman, businessman and leader of the Movement for Progressive Change.  

Voters’ Perspectives:

Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai – according to our latest polling results and voters’ assessment and views, the Vice President is slowly crawling politically to taken the presidential seat after his boss (President Johnson Sirleaf) shall have left the stage.
According to our latest poll from around the Country, many of those spoke during the last five days are still confident that his leadership will bring in more respect to the presidency as more of the older voters say he will bring years of government experience to the job than most people.  While he continues to be a household name to many rural and urban Liberians because of his long public service career which is an added advantage, his association and role as the number two person in the ruling Unity Party’s government that is widely condemned by the Liberian masses remains a major challenge for his candidacy. Most voters say they don’t see what the Vice President can and will do that he was not able to do in the last twelve years as the second highest leader in the country.  Another factor that seems concerning to voters is the Vice President’s age.  Most voters polled think considering the numerous problems Liberia faces, they would like to see a more energetic person leading the nation come 2017. Some voters say they would like to see the VP retired with the President.

Montserrado County Senator George Manneh Weah – according to our last poll results and voters’ views, the Senator continues to be widely popular across the country.  His popularity, according to most voters polled, is largely due to his days as a world soccer player.  The senator is well liked by many young people, especially school drop-outs and the least educated.  However, there are lots of doubts in the minds of many young and older voters as to his capability and brilliance to lead the nation.  His performance in the current Liberian Senate raises more questions and concerns about his competence to serve as president of Liberia.  Most voters interviewed argued that Liberia would need repositioning in the global market and that transcends having celebrity status as a soccer genius. If the Senator can demonstrate the ability to lead on key issues in the senate that might help to change their minds about him. So far his competence to lead Liberia remains highly questionable.   

The Movement For Economic Empowerment – according to our polling results quoting the views of voters, its political leader (Even though still under cover). Dr. Joseph Mill Jones is making headway as voters see him as their choice for their presidency.
According to our pollsters, those spoke to especially rural Liberians said Dr. Jones will enjoy their support, because according to them he has over the years provided loan to them to solve their economic problems being encountered over the years.
In addition, the Governor has to his advantage a vast national asset as governor of the Central Bank. And since he uses the government loan program as part of his political appeal, those who largely benefit from the program are loyal to him. However, he has others to content with, especially school-age and college educated young people who are pondering over his bid.

Liberty Party’s Leader Counsellor Charles Walker Brumskine – according to our poll, the U.S. educated respected Liberian lawyer enjoys broad support among affluent Liberians and his Bassa tribal group.  He has been gaining momentum in recent weeks after a short slide over the past few months, especially after the entry of new political forces in the equation.  Some voters polled considered the Liberty Party’s leader a capable personality based on his education and experience. However, most voters still question his judgment and the lack of clarity in explaining the role he played in the then National Patriotic Front Party’s government and his relationship with Charles Taylor in particular.  Voters want to know more about him and his role in that government before he parted ways with Taylor.  Others say his inconsistency bothers them especially when he said he had resigned from politics after the 2011 Presidential election only to come back as a presidential candidate for the 2017 Presidential elections. Generally though, most people see him as an honest man.

New Liberia Party’s political leader, Jones Nhinson Williams – according to our polls, the Catholic educated and American trained professional who abandoned his vocation to the Catholic priesthood to pursue justice for the murder of five American Catholic nuns allegedly by Charles Taylor’s NPLF rebel forces in Liberia in 1992, enjoys the respect and admiration of Liberians across all spectrums.  
He is widely credited in international circles, particularly by the International Crisis Group, as the person whose steadfastness, patriotism and visionary leadership restored Liberia from continuous conflict and war to a normal functioning society. He is widely seen as capable, honest and smart, and an individual that is no doubt could improve Liberia as a nation politically, socially and economically.  
Unlike the other candidates, he generally appeals to both Liberian Christians and Muslims and is seen as one that can reconcile the country. Most voters believe that the next Liberian president must be a person of vision and considering the fragile peace and insecurity issues coupled with the massive unemployment the country faces, the New Liberia Party’s political leader fits the bill.  
However, some voters expressed doubts as to whether he will be able to foster a cordial working relationship with the Liberian lawmakers since he frequently frowns on corruption and is willing to call out corrupt leader and bureaucrats.  His other liability includes the fact that he has not worked in any of the Liberian governments before. In addition, most voters believe his insistence to focus on educating voters and the Liberian public in general rather than dishing out money and goodies as other aspirants continue to do could pose a problem for him in a nation where voters are more bent on receiving material inducements.   There are some who say considering his track record of disinterest in government, they don’t believe he would continue to seek the presidency as time goes by.

Wealthy businessman and leader of the All Liberians Party, Benoni Urey – who recently launched his party’s membership drive in Monrovia is gradually getting the ears of most downtrodden Liberians who are seeking for financial redemption. According to our pollsters, this Liberian businessman is the most well-known nationwide because of his vast wealth which he uses to entice voters and the suffering poor.  
He has the most funded political party and surrogates throughout the country.  His surrogates have easy access to most rural and urban communities because he has unleashed a substantial amount of resources out there that they can use.  His pluses include the fact that his campaign or party workers and others have resources to use as they hunt for potential voters.  
In addition to his huge investment conglomerate, he also has a vast media empire (radio and newspapers) as well as several other businesses including a cell phone company.   Voters easily point out that he is dishing out goodies in the rural and urban areas and for the opportunists and the hungry, they think it is admirable.  The All Liberian Party’s leader is also respected by some voters as a savvy businessman who is investing his wealth in the country.   
Most voters also believe that the businessman’s association with the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, who is jailed in the UK for crime against humanity is the key factor behind his wealth.  Until the businessman can manage to eradicate such perception in the minds of Liberians, getting real traction that would be equal to his political expenditure would be somehow difficult.  In addition, other voters are deeply concerned about the businessman’s perception by the West, especially the United States, where he is listed by the U.S. Treasury as a person with whom Americans should not do business.  That said businessman Urey remains a very strong contender to look out for.  

Movement for Progressive Change’s leader, Simeon Freeman – according to our poll, the businessman and leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) has not been garnering much booze in recent months as compared to a year or two ago when he was fiercely engaging the media on government’s ‘failures as per his criticism then.   One advantage he has is access to resources to boost his campaign any time he wants.  However, his disadvantage is the fact that most voters say they don’t really know what he really stands for other than wanting to be president.

Ambassador Milton Nathaniel of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) is one of those contesting for the 2017 presidency. Speaking about his presidential bid for the 2017 recently, Ambassador Nathaniel Barnes said his intention to enter into a covenant with the Liberian people. His priority is to get the country back on track and well into growth and development using five key areas of focus.
“Our leaders have not had the courage to say the truth and take the necessary actions on people when they go wrong,” he said. He said Liberia needs better reconciliation. “To have a national identity as a country, will form the basis for real peace and sustainable development,” he said. Barnes said he would be courageous and unwavering using education, healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, and justice as impact areas of his administration. Barnes also said under his educational plan; his administration will provide adequate funding and support for rural teacher training, tuition waivers to students in universities studying science, technology, and math. However, the tuition waiver would be on condition that they maintain a minimum grade point average and are committed to national service three years after graduation.“We will provide livable wages to qualified teachers,” he said.On healthcare, Barnes said his “covenant with Liberia will aim to upgrade the health care delivery system with strategic focus on access to basic health services and improvement in health care infrastructures.” To achieve this, his administration will provide preventive and curative services for children to improve maternal and child health services, enforce malaria and HIV prevention. Additionally, he mentioned increased mental health services and that he would seek international partnerships on epidemic prevention and containment.

1.    Montserrado County
George Weah’s CDC  17%, Joseph N. Boakai of the UP 14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 10%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 14%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 11%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 6% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 11%,  Amara Konneh – 9%, Augustine Ngafuan – 12%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 11%
17% outstanding

2.    Bomi County
George Weah’s CDC in that county is trading 15%, Joseph N. Boakai  of the UP 19%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 11%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 22%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 6% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 5%,Milton Nnathaniel Barnes 9%, Alex Tyler 7%

3.    Grand Cape Mount County
George Weah’s CDC in that county is trading 14%, Joseph N. Boakai  of the UP 11%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 15%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 18%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 12%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 9% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 13%,  Varney Sherman (UP) -15%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 9%
12% outstanding in this poll

4.    Gbarpolu County
George Weah’s CDC 12%, Joseph N. Boakai  of the UP 10%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 11%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 20%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 14%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 9% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 9%,  Speaker Alex Tyler – 10%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 5%

5.    Lofa County
George Weah (CDC) – 19%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 15%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 15%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 14%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 11%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 10% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 9%, Augustine Ngafuan -15%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 8%

6.    Nimba County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) –     14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 14%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 18%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 15%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 10% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 10%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 9%
8% is outstanding in this poll

7.    Bong County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 10%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 14%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 18%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 12%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 12% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 16%,   Milton Nathaniel Barnes 8%  
14% outstanding

8, Maryland County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 15%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 14%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 14%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 11%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 10% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 18%, Milton Nnathaniel Barnes 12%

9.    Sinoe County
George Weah (CDC) – 19%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 13%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 15%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 30%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 2% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 11%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 11%

10.    River Gee County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 10%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 6%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 20%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 10% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 26%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 12%

11.    Grand Gedeh County
George Weah (CDC) – 16%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 16%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 10%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 30%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Jones Nhinson Williams – 18%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 5%

12.    River Cess County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 13%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 14%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 17%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 14%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 14% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 10%

13.    Grand Kru County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 10%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 18%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 20%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 14% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 11%,Milton Nathaniel Barnes 9%

14.    Margibi County
George Weah (CDC) – 19%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 16%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 20%, Benoni Urey (ALP) –11%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 10% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) -9%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 11%

15.    Grand Bassa County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 16%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 20%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 21%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 8%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 12% ,  Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 10%, Milton Nathaniel Barnes 12%
15% is outstanding in the Grand Bassa County opinion polling by our pollsters
All Rights Reserved – West Africa Pollster, a division of Global News Network-Liberia

All Rights Reserved – West Africa Pollster, a division of Global News Network-Liberia

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