MONROVIA – With the 2023 presidential and general elections clocking closer, the Unity Party (UP) of former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai seems ready set to put its house in order, especially when it comes to showcasing to the voters its choice of vice-presidential candidate that will meet the requirements of a formidable second-in-command working in sync with the presidency to deliver on the goals and objectives set forth by the government-in-waiting.
According to cogent information filtering from the former ruling party’s camp following a recent UP media engagement, Standard Bearer Joseph Boakai might in the next two to three months announce his running mate for the 2023 presidential and general elections to avoid the 2017 mistake.
“A vice president is the heart beat of the presidency. That means a vice president can be president anytime. My vice president should be someone who shares my vision about Liberia. It is a decision people make personally, because he or she assists the president,” Ambassador Boakai stated over the weekend when he met with print media executives and editors at his Rehab Offices in Paynesville.
It can be recalled how during the 2017 presidential and general elections, former Vice President Joseph Boakai, affectionately called JNB, had dilly-dallied up to the eleventh hour to select a suitable Vice-Presidential candidate. But when Ambassador Boakai in July 2017 finally settled on the then lawmaker of Margibi County District #5 Emmanuel Nuquay who had served from 2006 to 2017 after two successful terms, and was later elected Speaker of the House, the public interest had dwindled, having heard of such formidable vice-presidential picks like Liberty Party Standard Bearer Charles Walker Brumskine and former Finance Minister Amara M. Konneh.
The looming decision from JNB to select his next running mate early enough as opposed to 2017 has opened a Pandora box for speculations as to who could be the most favored candidate to serve as the Unity Party Standard Bearer’s running mate.
According to credible UP sources, two names are currently waxing hot on the table for JNB’s next running mate. Hot on the billing is the estranged Liberty Party Political Leader, Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence.
UP insiders who are closely aligned with the Lawrence faction of the Liberty Party are said to be intensely lobbying to have their leading lady serve as JNB’s running mate, in the hope of offsetting the Musa Bility Liberty Party camp that have thrown their hats behind CPP Standard Bearer Alexander Cummings.
Meanwhile, as Nyonblee’s name continues to gain traction as JNB’s next running mate, other Unity Party sources are also whispering that Cllr Tiawan Gongloe of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP) could be highly favored because of his untainted political and public service history which is closely aligned with Ambassador Boakai’s own public service record.
It is also being said that the Nimba factor could feature prominently in Gongloe’s favor if JNB is pushed against the wall to decide between Nyonblee and the man from Nimba, Liberia’s second vote-rich region.
“JNB needs to play his cards close to his chest. Nimba vote is crucial to 2023. Nyonblee and Dillon will secure Grand Bassa for the Unity Party. Unity Party needs a wildcard candidate from Nimba. Taiwan Gongloe could be that wildcard for the Unity Party, especially as there is a deepening divide in Senator Prince Johnson’s camp,” says Kelegbo Glinwon from Tappita.