Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, Jeremiah Slunteh, has refuted media reports that he would be vying for the presidency in 2017.
Ambassador Slunteh, speaking to reporters on April 23 in Monrovia explained that on no occasion did he have an interview with a local newspaper declaring his intention to vie for the presidency in 2017.
According to the Liberian diplomat, the report branded him as a tribalist, which he denied, saying, “I do not believe in tribalism as the report insinuated.”
“I have always taken a center role in my political sojourn because I am not an extremist,” he added.
Reacting further to the reports which allegedly identified him as a ‘Kpelle people’s president’ for the 2017 presidential elections, Ambassador Slunteh said “I do not subscribe to tribalism; neither do I believe in ethnicity. I am a Liberian and all I have done is to serve Liberia and not a particular tribe.”
He said his support to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2005 during the run-off elections was not because she was more educated, a female or a member of another sectional group. He gave his support based on his conviction that the agenda of the Unity Party was the best for the country at the time.
He also said the media reports placed him in the People’s Unification Party (PUP) as a member, but he clarified that he is a senior executive vice chairman of the Unity Party.
Reflecting on a recently held interview with a community radio station in Gbarnga, Ambassador Slunteh said the station quizzed him on the 2017 elections to which he responded that “All Liberians will be factors in the 2017 Presidential elections and I will be one of the factors.”
“I did not state in the interview that I will be a Presidential candidate in 2017. If and when that decision is made, I will declare appropriately,” Ambassador Slunteh retorted.
He said until that time comes, he has not made any declaration in any secret or public place and he is continuing with the work he is appointed to do for the Liberian people and the Unity Party administration.
Speaking on the relations between Liberia and the United States, Ambassador Slunteh said it is growing stronger than before.
Based on the strength of that relation, he said the US Government continues to make commitments to Liberia’s post-war and post-Ebola recoveries.
As a result, he said the United States has identified Liberia among the African countries that will benefit from President Obama’s Power Africa project.