— Grand Bassa District #3 Representative aspirant warns V/P Boakai
Togar Alexander Bealded, a Representative aspirant of Grand Bassa County Electoral District #3, has warned the former Vice President and political leader of the opposition Unity Party (UP), Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, that any attempt to sideline or shun Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence for another person as his running mate would be a political catastrophe.
Bealded, who is also a stalwart of the Musa Bility-faction of the opposition Liberty Party (LP), said if Boakai fails to pick Karnga-Lawrence, who has been a devoted ally in the upcoming presidential elections, it would provoke a protest vote from the Bassa constituency.
The youthful representative aspirant, who is strangely in support of the Bassa senator after years of being her “political enemy”, threatened that if Senator Karngar-Lawrence is not chosen by Ambassador Boakai, he would campaign vigorously against the election of Boakai as president to replace the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of President George Weah.
Bealded’s warning comes following reports that Boakai has narrowed his choices to a handful of possible running mates, including Senator Karnga-Lawrence and Senator Jeremiah Koung of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), who is widely believed to enjoy significant support in Nimba County and played a crucial role in President George Weah’s election.
Koung has practically become a career legislator from Nimba County. He served two terms as a representative before being elected as senator. Nimba County is the second-largest county in Liberia by population, making it a highly coveted constituency in the last three presidential elections.
The MDR’s endorsement helped Weah win the vote-rich Nimba after he had performed poorly in the first round of the 2017 elections.
Lawrence hails from Grand Bassa County, the fifth most populous county in Liberia, and has been elected twice as a senator. She is a prominent figure in the opposition community and is currently the most prominent female legislator in Liberia. Her party, the Liberty Party, secured the third position in the 2017 elections and has a strong presence in Grand Bassa.
Addressing a host of journalists in Monrovia on Thursday March 30, Bealded said he believes that Senator Karngar-Lawrence could be the best suited running mate to Boakai, because the people of his county have been marginalized when it comes to the presidency of the country.
“If Boakai refuses to heed my warning to pick Senator Karngar-Lawrence it would be the end of his political life. The people of Grand Bassa will definitely reject him during the upcoming presidential and legislative elections,” Bealded further warned.
According to Bealded, a similar mistake was made by Boakai during the 2017 general and presidential elections, when he picked former House Speaker Emmanuel J. Nuquay of Margibi County as his running mate.
“You can see how Boakai was massively defeated by President Weah because he picked the wrong person as his running mate,” Bealded recounted. “We are getting credible reports that Boakai will be naming his possible running mate, and we are sitting on the fence watching to see. If he doesn’t take Senator Lawrence, we will lead a strong campaign against him,” Bealded said.
However, Boakai’s choice of a running mate could either boost or hinder his presidential campaign, as many in the Unity Party want to name a person that has a strong brand and a significant following to amalgamate with his.
Still, countless factors will go into Boakai’s pick, as he may be looking for someone who shares his passion for the country, believes in honest service, has integrity, and exudes humility.
Boakai has on countless occasions said that, considering that a vice president is the heartbeat of the presidency; he would not just choose anyone but “someone who shares my vision about Liberia. It is a decision people make personally because he or she assists the President.”