Recent merger consummated by three political parties including the All Liberian party (ALP of businessman Benoni Urey, the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) of Senator Prince Y. Johnson and the Liberia National Union (LINU) of Nathaniel Blama in their bid to win the popular support of electorates in the pending October 10, 2017 general and presidential elections has become a riddle to many Liberians who spoke to our reporter over the weekend as to who will be willing to be picked as Vice Presidential candidate.
The declaration of intent for a merger was signed by the three parties last Friday, April 21, 2017 at the headquarters of the MDR in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, the deal was sealed with a common understanding that the Joint Technical Committee would work out modalities required for holding a national convention to nominate the Presidential and vice Presidential of the anticipated coalition.
But a day after the signing of the merger’s declaration, the political leader of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Senator Prince Y. Johnson is insisting that after goring through all of the requirements by the National Elections Commission (NEC) for legalizing their coalition he sees no reason why he should not be the leader.
Speaking to a local daily, the controversial Prince Johnson maintained that he will become the leader of the coalition, noting, “I must go first. Mr. Urey has no political experience, so I can’t go under him. I have contested elections. I contested the senatorial elections twice and won. I came third in the Presidential elections in 2011. I am a member of the ECOWAS Parliament. How can I go second to Urey?” Senator Prince Y. Johnson speaking stressed.
He, however, said even as the Joint Technical Committee is working out modalities for the convention, he must be first on the ticket.
“I have the numbers. Mr. Urey may have money, but I have the numbers. If he means well for this country then he must act like Jewel Howard Taylor.
She’s more educated than Weah, she’s more experienced than Weah, but she humbled herself to go under Weah.
“Mr. Weah and I are the two most popular people in this country so how do you expect me to go under somebody?”
“I am the father of the coalition. I was the one that brought 12 political parties together in Ganta for the purpose of coalition. So, I’m ready to form coalition with any opposition political party,” the Nimba County Senator speaking to reporters also emphasized that Mr. Urey must demonstrate love for country by agreeing to go be second to him.
This argument puts forward by Senator Johnson, according to some Liberians spoke to reporter over the weekend, said this signifies that in the near future the coalition will suffer a leadership crisis, questioning saying, “What happens if Mr. Urey insists of becoming the Standard Bearer of the coalition, on grounds that his financial strength and willpower must afford him that opportunity,” Emmanuel Toe a resident of central Monrovia asked as he pondered over this new merger.
“This merger of these three political parties, especially with the political leaders of MDR and ALP, my instant tells me that it won’t hold, because both men are power greedy, and so doing it will be difficult for one of them to go as second. “Well time will tell, let’s wait and see how long this coalition will last. I can’t wait to see this happen,” Geraldine Smith, a diehard ALP of Mr. Benoni Urey speaking on the issue said.