The political leader of Liberty Party (LP), Charles Walker Brumskine, on Saturday named former Forestry Development Authority (FDA) managing director, Harrison S. Karnwea, Sr., as his presidential running mate.
Karnwea, a native of Nimba County in northern Liberia, was subsequently elected unopposed as deputy standard bearer of the LP by delegates at a daylong special meeting of the party’s national, county and legislative aspirants in Saclepea, Nimba County, on Saturday, March 18.
Karnwea, a former superintendent of vote-rich Nimba County and Minister of Internal Affairs, resigned recently from the ruling Unity Party (UP) in favor of the opposition, Liberty Party.
In spite of the many criticisms of Karnwea’s decision to cross over to the LP, Brumskine told the gathering that selecting him was based on recommendations from a special committee set-up by the LP.
He said that the Brumskine-Karnwea ticket will bring victory, not only to the LP, but to the country, which will eventually witness tremendous developments.
Amid great excitement in the audience, Brumskine said, “It is my pleasing duty to announce to you that Nimba County has been selected to produce the next vice president of the Republic of Liberia, and is therefore my honor to inform Liberia that the honorable Harrison Karnwea has been selected as my running mate.”
In a brief statement, Karnwea accepted his selection as vice standard bearer and promised “to work overtime” to ensure that the party wins the October 10 elections.
“By this acceptance here, now and today, my intent and desire for the vice standard bearer position of the LP are hereby created and expressed,” he said.
Mr. Karnwea told partisans that he would, alongside Brumskine and the other partisans and sympathizers, canvass for votes when the campaign process kicks off so that the party can effectively and efficiently challenge all other political parties during the elections.
“Sincerely speaking, I see no ticket so unifying Liberians than our ticket that sends out a clear message that ‘united we stand, divided we fall.’ I see no ticket deserving victory than our ticket. I see no ticket that can be easily entrusted with the future of this country other than our ticket,” Karnwea said to rounds of applause from the floor.
“I see no ticket that sends out a clear and loud message of peace, reconciliation and unity than the LP’s ticket that features Brumskine and I.”
Karnwea indicated that through the LP ticket, he sees a Liberia on the best and proper trajectory for progress and development, adding that, “On our ticket, I see giants and real warriors in the political war to effectively minimize corruption.”
The LP vice standard bearer continued by saying that on the party’s 2017 ticket, he sees real patriots with the minds and hearts to put Liberia first, and: “On our ticket I see a better future for the old and young Liberians no matter which village, town or quarter you find yourselves. I can say this ticket is a vote magnet that will attract the votes to push the LP to the leadership of this country in the upcoming elections.”
The former UP stalwart said from the day he decided to make LP his political home, he started to effectively put together all the political energies, tactics and strategies to ensure that the party captures state power “from a party that desperately wishes to dominate the political landscape for 24 years.”
Karnwea said he feels strongly that re-electing UP for the third time would be the wrong message for Liberians to send to the outside world, “and that we are satisfied with the maintenance of the status quo.”
“I refuse to accept that Liberians will be satisfied with giving our country to one party for 24 consecutive years or more in the spirit of acceptance of superficial reforms against a transformative agenda that brings about serious systematic and positive changes for Liberia’s progress, which the LP stands to usher,” Karnwea said.
Shortly after the pronouncement of Karnwea as the LP’s vice standard bearer, there were mixed reactions from some Liberians who consider his crossing over to the UP as betrayal to Vice President Joseph Boakai, in whose honor Karnwea named one of his quadruplets. Another is named in honor of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, while the other two are named in honor of Mr. Karnwea and his mother, Monsoun, respectively.
“I believe Karnwea has violated the tradition of naming a child after an individual by defecting from the UP to seek for Boakai’s position as VP,” said a Karnwea admirer only identified as Nyahn.
A female well-wisher at Saturday’s occasion and many of her colleagues welcomed the revelation of the Brumskine-Karnwea ticket.
Kou Meipein, who admires Karnwea’s forcefulness when it comes to development and his stance against corruption, and her colleagues believe that the selection of Mr. Karnwea as Brumskine’s running mate is the best decision the LP has so far made on its political sojourn.
In a related development, the LP political leadership has commissioned the Bahn/Buutuo highway, which has remained deplorable over the years.
At a brief groundbreaking ceremony earlier in Bahn City, Brumskine and Karnwea assured the gathering that the LP was reconditioning the road to revive the “lost hope of residents, and also to increase government’s revenue intake from that part of the country,” which connects Liberia to Ivory Coast.
Bahn City Mayor Angie Dopoe, on behalf the residents, commended Mr. Karnwea and the LP for their decision to recondition the Bahn/Buutuo road network.