As Liberia moves closer each day to charting a new course of political, social and economic progress which observers say will largely be based on the results of the 2017 Presidential elections, voters, residents and political analysts alike are examining the most plausible candidates, and indeed the likely choice 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. This poll has a reasonable margin of error of -3.
As of the week-ending October 16, 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.
Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai – according to our latest polling results and voters’ assessment and views, the Vice President is regarded as a statesman; he is respected for his ability to maintain a sense of calm and humility. His candidacy resonates more with the older people than with the younger and unemployed Liberian population. 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.
Ambassador Milton Nathaniel Barnes who recently officially announced that he has taken membership in the Free Democratic Party (FDP), one of the two national political parties that is currently part of the National Democratic Coalition is also making headway amongst electorates with some speaking of his professional administrative performances over the years.
Speaking with reporters in Monrovia recently, the Liberian Ambassador to the United States, said, “Considering the proliferation of political parties in our fledgling democracy, rather than challenging the decertification of my original party, Liberia Destiny Party (LDP) or seeking to establish yet another political party, I thought it wise to associate myself with an existing organization whose ideology, goals and objectives are extremely compatible with my vision for Liberia as we approach 2017.” His bid for the presidency is under the watchful eyes of many of those who think he should make his move in this endeavor.
Liberia’s central bank’s executive governor, Dr. Mills Jones – according to our polling results and voters’ views, the bank governor enjoys wide support among rural Liberians and a select group of business people nationwide. His popularity is largely due to the government’s loan program he spearheads as governor which randomly gives money and other resources to market women and a select group of business people in the country. 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 unfavorable mentions among most informed voters, especially school-age and college educated young people. Voters polled say he is using the country’s wealth as his personal wealth for political gains. Voters say the loan program still leaves many young people in the country unemployed and does not address the wide poverty gap. As such, some voters see the scheme as a political campaign ploy to make the Governor acceptable to voters. Others argued that if he, as governor of the central bank, can use the country’s wealth as a personal property what will he do as president.
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 spectrum. 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 – according to our poll, the 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. However, in spite of all this, the mega businessman finds it hard to gain widespread attraction and is generally regarded by some voters as someone who benefited from the spoils of war conducted by his longtime pal and associate Charles Taylor under whose government he served as head of the Liberia Maritime Authority, one of the highest revenue generating agency of the Liberian government. 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.
1. Montserrado County
14% agreed that Senator George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) will take the leadership of Liberia in 2017.
12% of electorates in Montserrado County agreed that current Vice President and Standard Bearer of the ruling Unity Party (UP), Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai will be the possible candidates for the presidency come 2017.
Charles W. Brumskine’s Liberty Party (LP) has captured 9% of those who talked said they are convinced that he should this time win the presidency.
Ambassador Milton Nathaniel Barnes (FDP) during the survey it was observed that 6% of those talked to favored him
Jones Nhinson Williams a Liberian advocate has captured 13% of those who think he should be elected to the presidency come the 2017 general and presidential elections.
Benoni Urey’s ALL Liberia Party (ALP) has clocked 6% of the electorates who believed that he should be given the chance for the next presidency.
Dr. Joseph Mills Jones’ support is gradually dropping as many feel he will not make it due to politics being played as Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia in the absence of his resignation has dropped to 14%.
Those who think Simeon Freeman, Political leader of the Movement for Progressive Change should be the next President hit 5%
Outstanding percentages from the last survey shows 35% pending.
2. Bomi County
Dr. Joseph Mills Jones clocked 12% agreed that his bid for the presidency will gain a fruitful result.
Senator George Weah to capture state power drops to 18 %.
Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai tagged 15.8%.
Cllr. Charles Brumskine 12% agreed that he will do better.
Ambassador Milton Nathaniel Barnes 10%
Benoni Urey has taken 10%
Simon Freeman of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) 8% agreed and expressed supports his bid for the presidency.
Jones Nhimson Williams, political leader of the New Liberia Party (NLP) has received 11%
Outstanding of 4% is untouched.
3. Grand Cape Mount County
Dr. Joseph Mills Jones bid for the presidency emphasizing his institution, the CBL’s support towards improving their livelihood through the provision of a loan scheme made him to capture 16.% expressed support to his presidential bid.
Senator George Weah’s support in this county seems not to be encouraging, as many of the youthful population say they are still ‘reading the political terrain’ of the CDC, stating the inconsistencies of its political leader. But for others, the CDC is their political choice come 2017, 19% has agreed to support the CDC till to the end.
Some residents of the county speaking to our team of pollsters said the election of Dr. Joseph N. Boakai who is Vice President of Liberia, and Vice Standard Bearer of the ruling Unity Party is like ushering in the same Government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, but others he is qualify to rule Liberia after the term of this current shall as expires. 11.% say he should be elected in 2015.
Charles W. Brumskine’s Liberty Party is said to be struggling in galvanizing support in that part of the country with some residents speaking of their indecisiveness as to who to support. 16% say they are preparing to cast their ballot in favor of the Liberty Party in 2017.
Ambassador Milton Nathaniel Barnes 8%
Benoni Urey has taken 7%
Simon Freeman takes away 5%
25% is outstanding after our survey over the weekend.
4. Gbarpolu County
George Weah’s CDC in that county is trading 15.%, Joseph N. Boakai of the UP 11%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 9%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 15%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 8%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 9% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 6%, Ambassador Milton Nathaniel Barnes 11%
Simon Freeman 9%
16% outstanding from this survey.
5. Lofa County
George Weah (CDC) – 19.%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 20%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 12%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 15%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 8% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 7%, Ambassador Nathaniel Barnes 13%, Simon Freeman 3%
6. Nimba County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 11%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 18%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 12%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 9% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 8%, Benoni Urey has taken 13%
7. Bong County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 16%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 14%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 22%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 7% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 14%,
8. Maryland County
George Weah (CDC) – 17%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 13%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 20%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 7%, Simon Freeman (MPC) -6% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 12%, Nathaniel Barnes 7%
9. Sinoe County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 12%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 22%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 5%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 8% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 3%, Nathaniel Barnes 7%
16% is outstanding in the county.
10. River Gee County
George Weah (CDC) – 20%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 11%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 18%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 7%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 4% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 18%, Nathaniel Barnes 8%
11% is outstanding
11. Grand Gedeh County
George Weah (CDC) – 20%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 14%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 20.%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Simon Freeman 5%, Nathaniel Barnes 5%, Jones Nhinson Williams 12%
12. River Cess County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 9%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 16%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 9% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 5%, Nathaniel Barnes 4%.
19% id outstanding in this county according to our survey.
13. Grand Kru County
George Weah (CDC) – 18%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 13%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 22%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 18%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 12%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 15% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 11%, Nathaniel Barnes 9%
14. Margibi County
George Weah (CDC) – 17%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 14%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 13%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 18%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 14%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 10% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) 8%, Nnathaniel Barnes 6%
15. Grand Bassa County
George Weah (CDC) – 14%, Joseph N. Boakai (UP) – 12%, Charles W. Brumskine (LP) – 15%, Joseph Mills Jones (MOVEE) – 14%, Benoni Urey (ALP) – 10%, Simon Freeman (MPC) – 12% , Jones Nhinson Williams (NLP) – 18%, Nathaniel Barnes 5%
18% is outstanding in this County