Liberia: Lusinee Kamara, 4th Place Presidential Candidate, Endorses Boakai for Runoff Elections

Lusinee Kamara (left) flanked by Joseph Boakai during the endorsement ceremony

— The endorsement, which makes Kamara the second top-six presidential candidate to throw support behind Boakai comes a few days after he held a consultative meeting with President George Weah, who was also seeking his support for the upcoming runoff elections.

Lusinee Kamara, the fourth-placed presidential candidate in the just-ended October 10 polls, has officially endorsed former Vice President Joseph Boakai ahead of the November 14 runoff elections.

Kamara, the presidential candidate of the All Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP), garnered a nationwide vote of 35,988, constituting 1.96% of the total vote share in the initial round of the elections.

The endorsement, which makes him the second of the top-six presidential candidates to throw support behind Boakai, comes a few days after he had held a consultative meeting with President George Weah, who was also seeking his support for the upcoming runoff elections.

"As we move forward to the runoff election, ALCOP has gathered support through intensive consultations, which served as the major drivers of our decision for alignment,” Kamara said at an elaborate program held at his party campaign headquarters on Thursday.

"Now, therefore, fellow Liberians and distinguished partisans, we, the officials and members of the All Liberian Coalition Party, hereby endorse the presidential bid of the standard bearer of the Unity Party, Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai,” he added.

Kamara, who revealed that the collaboration with the Unity Party will lead to a victory, is also requesting that the former Vice President when elected, consider his party manifesto in shaping Liberia's governing policies, as well as establishing an inclusive government for the benefit of all. 

The vision of ALCOP, according to Kamara, is to address governance challenges of the country while promoting socioeconomic developments that impact the lives of all Liberians.

"ALCOP's manifesto must also be considered in formulating the governing policy of Liberia and establishing a government of inclusion for the benefit of all Liberians," Kamara said.

However, Kamara's endorsement of Boakai has led to some split within the party. While he and the majority bloc of the party were endorsing Boakai yesterday, a faction led by the party's Vice Presidential candidate, Matthew Darblo, was also pledging its support for the President's reelection bid. 

This split endorsement has raised concerns about what impact it will have on the party's ability to give direction to its supporters.

The upcoming runoff election is a crucial moment for Liberia, with Weah and Boakai locked in a fierce competition for the presidency. The latter came second with 796,961 votes, representing 43.44%, while the former Weah topped the October 10 election results with 804,087 votes, constituting 43.83%. With neither candidate reaching the 50% threshold, a runoff election was then scheduled, which is a rematch of the 2017 election results in which Boakai trailed Weah in the first round of voting and then lost a runoff by a wide margin.

Boakai had run his election under the slogan “Rescue Mission,” accusing the President of taking Liberia downhill during his first term. 

However, Weah has dismissed such claims, saying that he has made significant strides, including introducing free tuition for university students, which birthed his slogan “Hope You Can Count On.”

However, Kamara's endorsement of Boakai has added an influential voice to Boakai's campaign, as he boasts a loyal constituency — the Muslim community, who in their majority rallied behind him in the just-ended polls. 

According to the 2022 Census, an estimated 12.2 percent of the country's nearly 5.5 million people are Muslim. For years, the Muslim community has raised concerns about their limited inclusion in political party structures across the country. This positions Kamara as the voice of such a large voting block that is spread across the country.

Accepting the endorsement, Boakai said he sees a future of inclusion, “wherein the children of Christians and Muslims, and the various ethnic groups,” working together harmoniously for the development of this nation.

Boakai added that Kamara has joined him, along with others, to salvage and restore what “the past devastating six years of misrule have left of our dear nation.”

"Wielding the adage of Think Liberia, Love Liberia, and Build Liberia, we gather here today to close ranks on a task so germane to the forward march of this nation. The significance of the occasion thus defies any underestimation.

“The gathering here on this historic day is to witness a noble and patriotic move that will embolden our effort to RESCUE this nation from the depths of degradation to which the current wasteful and corrupt conglomeration of incompetent and nonchalant characters have pushed it,” Boakai added.

However, Darblo,  who endorsed Weah, said he is prepared to work to ensure that the President's second-term bid is maintained.