The slate of contenders for the Presidency is getting longer with Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson formally declaring his intention to contest for the nation’s top job at the party’s headquarters in Congo Town over the weekend.
Senator Johnson brings to 23 the number of persons desiring to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2017.
Senator Johnson, 64, says he will run for president on the ticket of his newly formed political party, the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) – the second party he has personally formed since 2005.
This is also Senator Johnson’s second presidential bid, having participated in the 2011 presidential elections in which he emerged third with 11.6 percent of the votes. At that time, he ran on the ticket of the first party he established, the National Union for Democratic Progress Party (NUDP). Under a cloud of shadowy politics, the NUDP removed him as their leader and named his kinsman Representative Ricks Toweh their as head.
Not deterred by that misadventure, PYJ, as he is popularly known, has formed the MDR the platform of which he has formally declared his desire to run for President is based upon emphasizing “the pressing need to restore the shattered hope and blasted dreams of millions of Liberians, who are yearning for a better country.”
Many of the Presidential candidates have promised to make Liberia far better than what it is under President Sirleaf, particularly by abolishing corruption and making the country self-sufficient in food production, among a long list of other promises.
For Senator Johnson, his dream is to ‘restore the shattered hope and blasted dreams of millions of Liberians, who are yearning for a better country.’ This is what the former rebel leader of the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia says he intends to do.
The former rebel ‘general’, notorious for publicly slaying ex-president Samuel K. Doe, Prince Johnson maintains that it is “unfair” to recommend prosecution “without evidence” for those linked to Liberia’s 14-year civil war. His opinion on the issue has been recorded during debates on whether or not to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Senator Johnson informed the gathering in his party’s Congotown headquarters that the utmost concern of the party would be to provide the platform upon which a government with the mandate to work in the interest of the people shall be formed as stated in Article 7 of the Constitution.
Article 7 says: “The Republic shall, consistent with the principles of individual freedom and social justice enshrined in this Constitution, manage the national economy and the natural resources of Liberia in such manner as shall ensure the maximum feasible participation of Liberian citizens under conditions of equality as to advance the general welfare of the Liberian people and the economic development of Liberia.”