Liberia: Chief Zanzan Karwo Campaigns for Weah's Reelection

…. “Supporting President George Weah’s re-election bid will enable him to carry out more development activities across the country,” said Chief Karwor.

Chief Zanzan Karwo, the influential head of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia, has rallied his colleagues in the vote-rich Nimba County to support the reelection of President George Weah.

Karwor, who has never hidden his support for the President, is making the appeal as the President finds himself in a heated runoff election against former Vice President Joseph Boakai, scheduled for November 14.

While Weah may have topped the first round of the October 10 polls with a slim margin — 43.83% against 43.44% — he is facing a rejuvenated Boakai who performed better compared to 2017.

“Supporting President George Weah’s re-election bid will enable him to carry out more development activities across the country,” said Karwor at a recent program in Gbanquoi, Nimba County, where he had gone to declare a ban on Female Genital Mutilation.

He then cited “improvements” in infrastructure, specifically road development, as reasons for the President’s reelection and vowed to continue persuading his fellow traditional leaders to vote in that direction.

“See the roads,” Karwor exclaimed, without being specific as he described Weah as the best leader to guide Liberia. “In the past, this road was very bad, but look at it today, the road is good.”

His latest campaign activity for the President comes months after he used his July 26 Oratory speech to accuse opposition parties of “[fighting] the President” while touting him as “the one who feeds the people.”

In that speech, Karwor said, “[that] people who are in the opposition should think about development in other areas for the people.” 

“But the only thing they want is to fight their leader, which is not in our tradition as a people. Don’t embarrass the traditional people. We can’t fight the hand that feeds us,” he added. “I thought the opposition would have joined the President to do more for the traditional people. Let me let you know the person who feeds people, people will follow them.”

However, Karwor’s political endorsement and campaign for the President are not strange, as he is on record supporting the administrations of former Presidents Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. 

He even supported former Vice President Boakai during the 2017 elections but shifted gears when Weah won the election that year. 

He became a vocal supporter after the traditional council received 30 vehicles and 150 motorbikes for its members about two years ago.

His wife, Representative Mary Karwo, who had previously contested on the opposition Unity Party ticket, switched sides for the just-ended October 10 polls as she ran on the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change ticket for the Grand Bassa County District Two legislative seat. She lost her reelection bid.