MONROVIA : With the understanding now that the Presidential elections will be decided by a runoff since none of the 20 presidential candidates including the incumbent, President George Manneh Weah will not be able to reach the 51% benchmark for an outright victory, there are strong indications that top political operatives within in the ruling establishment, the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) and the former ruling Unity Party(UP) in their respective strategies to win the plum job have commenced serious negotiations with other political parties and other stakeholders for the much needed endorsements and support to brighten their chances.
According to multiple sources in the polity, the contacts across the political field started about 3 days ago as the progressive release of the outcome of the general elections in the presidential category reached the highest point and indications begin to emerge that it would require a run off between the presidential candidate of CDC, President George Manneh Weah and his main rival, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai of UP both of whom had only been able to garnered percentages at 43.7 and 43.3 of the total of valid vote cast respectively.
The Analyst can also confirm that the negotiation has seen the other political parties who did not make the cut making frantic moves to reach out to both CDC and UP with the view of getting strong commitments as regards offers for jobs and other opportunities should they become victorious at the end of the exercise.
“Yes, one of the two parties reached us last night seeking our endorsements which we accepted in principle until they can tell us what is on the table for us. In these kinds of arrangements you do not rush to make a conclusion but you weigh the options and check their sincerity of people coming for your votes in these crucial periods. That is the only thing I can tell you right now”, an executive of one of the political parties told The Analyst last night.
While some of the parties are using intermediaries in the case of some of the parties that don’t have prior relationships with each other, some other parties in the last few days were going through the process of realignment but with other intricacies involved, it is taking some unnecessary delays to consummate any agreement.
According to one of the parties, there was serious disagreement between the standard bearer who had earlier in the week committed himself to a political party after he was promised an ambassadorial posting and the rest of the executive committee, some of whom preferred cash to “some empty promises that will be honored at the end of the day”
“The decision has to be overruled because the political leader though the head of the party did not consult with the executive committee before affixing his signature to the agreement he had with the people for an ambassadorial position if they win.
“But we the members of the executive committee prefer cash to any arrangement that will be anchored on promises that will definitely be broken given the kind of politics we practice in Liberia”, said a middle aged man who introduced himself as Uncle J, the Assistant Secretary General for Publicity.
As of last night, topping the list of parties being approached either directly or via proxies by both CDC and UP, were the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) of Alexander B. Cummings, the All Liberia Coalition Party(ALCOP) of Lusine Kamara, the Grassroot Democratic Movement(GDM) of Edward Appleton Jr, the Liberian People’s Party(LPP) of Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe and the Liberian National Union(LINU) of Dr. Clarence Moniba.
While it is the wish of some of the parties to agree to endorsing and supporting the parties making offers, The Analyst was informed yesterday that some of the standard bearers who participated in the elections have decided to be mute in the exercise not to support or identify with any specific party but to allow their members to freely use their own judgments to vote any of the two parties in the run off.
“We don’t see our political leader endorsing either President Weah or Ambassador Boakai because he has told us several times that none of them has what it takes to get Liberia where it ought to be. He believes doing so would be contradicting himself and therefore will just sit back and allow the members to go all out to vote for the person of their choice since he has no power to stop any of us from exercising our constitutional rights”, a top executive of one of the parties told The Analyst yesterday.
Some keen observers of the politics of endorsement of candidates in the second round told this paper that it has become a lucrative business over the years and that has informed the decision of some of those who organized political parties in the country as they have used such channels to land themselves big opportunities should the parties they support become victorious.
“Clearly it has been used for brisk political business in the past and there are a lot of examples I can give you. John Morlu, a former Standard Bearer of LINU got appointed as the head of the Liberia Maritime Authority after he supported former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during the 2005 just the similar way Dr. Joseph Korto got appointed as Minister of Education after both men supported the former President in 2005 during the second round.
“Several other persons got their jobs in this Weah dispensation from similar fashion and so it is safe to say that all these negotiations normally boiled down to what could be given in exchange of endorsement or support”, a political pundits told this paper last week.