Is A First Round Victory Likely?

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Confident of a first round are some more than others. (l-r) Boakai, Brumskine, Cummings and Weah

The stupendous turnout of partisans for the launch of the Unity Party campaign in Monrovia last Saturday sparked debates among political observers throughout the nation about the likelihood that a presidential candidate can pull off a first round victory in the October 10 elections – aborting a runoff for the first time in 12 years.

The debates have involved many views, both national and international, as the the turnouts of thousands of partisans of various presidential candidates took center stage on the streets of Monrovia and other cities during their respective campaign launches. Each of the party launches in Monrovia to date have vied for bragging rights that its partisan turnout “locked down Monrovia.”  Those bragging rights were exclusively owned by CDC, now Coalition for Democratic Change – until Saturday, September 16 dawned and under a punishing torrential rainfall, UP partisans showed up in the tens of thousands (some say) and indisputably brought Monrovia to a standstill.  The astonishing UP turnout, many exclaimed, had never been seen in Liberia’s political history and reportedly brought the clearly overwhelmed Standard Bearer, Joseph N. Boakai, to tears.

The two-pronged approach of the march of partisans on foot, on floats and on jam packed buses and trucks to the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) was undeniably strategic and impressive, however inconveniencing to the rest of the public. No figures have emerged so far as to the actual crowd size, but the magnitude of UP partisans was massive.

Critics, however, are arguing that “numbers or turnouts during launches are not reliable factors for winning an election.”

According to the National Elections Commission (NEC), a second round is held when no presidential candidate secures more than 50 percent of the votes cast. With the two dozen or so presidential candidate vying for the votes of just over two million eligible voters, a 51 percent landslide is difficult to imagine, but not impossible.

The two front-runners will return to the polls and voters will choose their favorite within 30 days of the first election. In order to win the first round and avoid a second round, a presidential candidate must earn a little over 50% of the 2,026,426 votes.

Unity Party

The standard-bearer of the ruling Unity Party (UP), Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, said during the recent presidential debate, that a second round is unlikely. Some executives of the UP declared that Saturday’s launch at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium showed their mighty strength with the turnout of a “tsunami” of partisans, which they believe was a clear indication of a first-round victory. It means that the UP is certain of accumulating 1.1 million or more votes across the country on October 10, making it the party’s first one-round victory in a presidential election since its inception in 1997.

CDC

Prior to the coalition – (the Coalition for Democratic Change) – the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) for the last two presidential elections has been regarded as the primary opposition party. They emerged runner-up in 2005 and 2011.

Some stalwarts believe that the “merger” of the three political parties – the CDC, National Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP), indicates that there is no way for a second, meaning they too might win the first round. The Coalition’s standard bearer, Sen. George M. Weah, said: “Hope is alive because we will win in one round.”

LP

The Liberty Party (LP) of Charles W. Brumskine is the second main opposition party. They too showed the strength of their numbers during their campaign launch on Saturday, September 9. The LP is on record of boasting that it will replace the UP and be tied with the CDC for a second round. Cllr. Brumskine has never ruled out a second round. He said the UP has failed miserably, and Liberians will prove their frustration at the polls.

The LP’s vice standard bearer, Harrison Karnwea, promised to split vote-rich Nimba County and the Southeast.

ANC

“I will disprove conventional wisdom and win the presidency in the first round,” Mr. Alexander B. Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) has said.

The corporate businessman now virgin politician has said that he is the most qualified candidate to lead the country and deliver it from the grips of a bad economy.

Launching his campaign in Harper, Maryland County, which brought together the five southeastern counties, Cummings made his case and assured Liberians that they can trust his change.

MOVEE

Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) standard bearer, Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, has indicated that history is on his side, claiming that he has the track record more than any other political candidate, pointing to his tenure as Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia as proof of what he is capable of doing.

Noted for insisting that ‘poverty is not Liberians’ destiny’ in the wake of thousands of Liberians being weighed down by economic and other hardships, his financial inclusion policy, his supporters say, is a record that has no rivals, and therefore Jones deserves to be heard and may likely be hoping that a one-round victory is his to lose.

ALP and others

Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party (ALP), Sen. Prince Y. Johnson of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) as well as the other 13 presidential candidates are also working their way into the hearts and minds of the electorate. Urey is determined to ensure that another political party, not the Unity Party, becomes victorious on October 10. Of course, opinion polls have given no indication that any of the political parties will win the first round.

Arguably, no one has the votes to win in the first round.  Undecided or unsure citizens not voting, as well as low turn-out, are all taken into account to determine that a second round is highly likely.

30 COMMENTS

    • Why do you say so? If you can state clearly and objectively verifiable instances and examples for your assertion I will vote for UP. If you can’t do so then stop your empty partisan talk.

      • J.D; Bill have already said it. JNB is the most experienced of the Presidential Candidates. He knows Liberia’s problems and understands the Liberian People a lot better.Thus, he knows the best solutions for Liberia’s Problems. Look at the many positives during his turnure as Vice President. That says a lot. Vote JNB; for a better Liberia. “We will overall PREVAIL”; under the leadership of J.Nyumah Boakai. Thanks!

        • Henry, you are giving credit where it does not belong. Vice President Boakai has been the most exclusive and inactive Vice President in Liberia’s HISTORY on performance. Now you are giving him a predicted positive performance as President. Where are his RECORDS for (12) as Vice President? Mr. Boakai has repeatedly stated that he has served in Goverment for over (45) years. What did he do for his owned COUNTY of LOFA during those years? Mr. Freeman, you are educated, please put you critical analysis to work. On what BASIS are you promoting a (76) years old SENIOR to be President for a young Democratic INSTITUTION? In fact, Mr. Boakai’s Health will not permit him to be effective as an ADMINISTRATOR for our COUNTRY. Please do more thinking about your decision. Thanks

          • The fact that J.Nyumah Boakai have served his Country, Liberia for 45years, means a lot. If JNB was not a good public servant, he would have never been hired by so many different bosses in the first place. As for his fitness, various Doctors have given him a clean bill of HEALTH. Let’s hear from the DOCTORS. They make better determinations when it comes to a person’s fitness; young or old. Being younger doesn’t translates to fitness; neither can we say that an older person is unfit. Ronald Reagan was one of the oldest Presidents; yet, he was one of the most active and effective Presidents. He did two terms as President of the U.S.A. How about that? Age is not an issue here. Let give JNB his fair CHANCE.

        • “JNB is the most experienced of the Presidential Candidates.”
          So if Ellen could and were standing again you think people should vote for her because she would be the most experienced?

          • A.W; 45years of service by JNB, to his Country, means a lot. If J.Nyumah Boakai was not such a good “PUBLIC SERVANT”, he would have never been hired by so many different bosses in the first place. Age is not the issue. Experience does matter-a lot.

        • There you go again. You will not even have the courage to list all the “positives” you are alleging that makes Joseph Boakai the best candidate.

          Joseph Boakai knows Liberia’s problems? …..so that makes him the best candidate to solve them? Does that make any sense to you? Even you know Liberia’s problems, even I know liberia’s problems, even “Zogos” know Liberia’s problems. So, from the way you think, you, me, the ‘Zogos” are the best qualified to be president (s) of liberia. We are the most qualified to solve liberia’s problems. Sorry,but that’s an empty assertion

    • “EXPERINCE”, HAHAHAHA! Because the regime under which he served, got to power by foreign power backing. The threat of SO-CALL INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FUNDS being withheld, makes Liberia presidential election result a complete FARCE.

    • Thanks Bill. Please do not dignify “John Doe’s” insinuation with a response, because he/she is using a pseudonym. A coward like the purported “John Doe” will always sit in his/her little corner, and attempt to interrupt decent discussions, by masquerading as intellectuals, even though they lack the ability to offer anything useful. By the way I am a devout supporter of the Boakai-Nuquy Ticket-who are you, “Mr./Mrs. John Doe”?

  1. “Is A First Round Victory Likely”?? Okay, okay, let me look in my crystal ball…. Hmmm, it’s foggy out there… …Uh oh, there goes Old man Boakait in his jalopy! He’s the front runner !!! Holy cow! How the hell did that happen? I can’t believe my freaking eyes!

    Uh-oh, hold on, hold on, my crystal ball is getting cloudy, I can’t see. Ok, ok, it’s fine now. I see..I see someone in a Corvette Stingray Z-60 (sports car) trying to overtake Old man Boakai. Holy smokes! It’s Alex Cummings! Damn, Cummings came from nowhere to overtake Boakai. Boakai looks like he’s asleep at the wheel.

    Oh, wait, my crystal ball is foggy again!. The tires on Cummings’s car kicked up a lot of dust! I can’t see anything… Wait, wait it’s becoming clear… Sorry, my bad. It’s still foggy. Hold on, hold on, I think I see something coming– oh no, this can’t be true. I see Weah catching up with Cummings! This race is so unpredictable!

  2. After all is said and done, the only one Presidential Candidate; most Liberians can truly identify with, is Hon. J.Nyumah Boakai. That’s very important. Some may call it DIVISIVENESS. I say NO. It’s truth DEMOCRACY. In a truth DEMOCRACY, the “MAJORITY MUST RULE”. Interestingly, History is repeating itself. It’s happening right in Liberia. BRAVO! We may/should visit the earliest days before the election of Liberia’s first dark-skinned President, Edward James Roye. Liberia’s firat five President were all Mulattos or light skin; with Joseph Jenkins Roberts topping them all. Except for the texture of J.J.Roberts’ hair, he could easily pass for a white man. As a matter of fact, Pres. Roberts was 90% white-taking into considerations all of his white-male grands who were involved. The outcry then, among the SETTLERS was that majority of SETTLERS were(of course) dark-skinned. The “DARK-SKINNED” settlers felt, as the “MAJORITY”, they had the “VOTES” and so should be the rightful rulers of Liberia. That’s what led to the first “DEMOCRATICALLY” elected DARK-SKNNED President of Liberia, E.J.Roye. Today, Liberia’s INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, who make up 95% of Liberia’s Population are poised to take the LEADERSHIP of their Country; under the “CAPABLE LEADERSHIP” of J.Nyumah Boakai. Some Presidential Wannabe are calling it DIVISIVENESS? Ironically, the ones crying DIVISIVENESS are the siblings of those earlier DARK-SKINNED SETTLERS. Why is it DIVISIVENESS now; when it was not DIVISIVENESS then? Many Liberians and I say, the ELECTION of J.Nyumah Boakai; President, Republic of Liberia, is “TRUTH DEMOCRACY”. Nothing Else!

  3. All of the candidates veiling for the presidency Amb. George M. Weah is the most patriotic and forward-thinking leader who is able to transform Liberia for the Better. He can redeem Liberia from the squander opportunity that Unity party wasted when Liberia just return from war in 2005. The International attention was fully focus on Liberia with massive financial supports to the unity party for the country recovery but unity party due to rampant corruptions for 12 years abused the gesture. I think these opportunities can come back to Liberia with Amb. George M. Weah serving as the next president of the Republic of Liberia because he is an international personality who can be trusted by the international communities instead of Old man Boakai who together with president Sirleaf squandered these golden opportunities in the last 12 years due to corruptions and bad governance.

    • Hahaha… A true CDCian never hides, because his/her poor grammatical construction will always expose his/her ignorance. We are not prepare to surrender the future of our dear country to an incompetent person. Your deity, Weah is mentally unfit for the highest office in the land. Period!

      • “We are not prepare” is wrong! It should be: “We are not prepared.”

        Here you are condemning but you font even master your parts of speech. Hypocrisy is rift in you.

  4. Wow, this election is indeed unpredictable. Those of us who find ourselves in the diaspora are looking from afar and observing developments from the Mother Land.
    Prior to the launch of the other parties champagne in the city, the CDC had breg about holding the sole right of “pulling crowds and locking down the city” but today, it is arguably established that Monrovia is ‘elephant meat’, therefore no one political party or groupings can boast of having the numbers.
    We will continue to observe and pray for a successful election but let be known to every participants that results from Monrovia alone can not decide for the rest of Liberia, and that winner and losers will accept the result and live together peaceably for the forward march of our beloved country.

  5. JOSEPH BOAKAI IS A “TRUE LIBERIAN SON OF THE LIBERIAN SOIL!” HIS PATRIOTISM AND LOYALTY TO LIBERIA AND HOST OF LIBERIAN LEADERS, FROM THE LATE PRESIDENT WILLIAM TUBMAN TO HIS CURRENT LEADER, ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF! JOSEPH BOAKAI IS TRULY DESERVING THE HONORABLE POSITION IN LIBERIA’S HISTORY AS THE “FIRST LEGITIMATE “INDIGENOUS SON OF LIBERIAN SOIL” TO BE ELECTED BY THE MASSES OF LIBERIANS AS “PRESIDENT OF THE WEST AFRICAN REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA!” JOSEPH BOAKAI’S LANDSLIDE ELECTION IN OCTOBER 2017, MUST AND WILL DEFINITELY SERVE AS A “SIGN, SIGNAL AND/OR SYMBOL OF THE “TRUE UNIFICATION AND INTEGRATION” OF ALL LIBERIANS TODAY AND FOREVER!!”

  6. May the Lord God Almighty Elohim bless Mama Liberia. I love my country and its people and I pray that Liberian choose the true and divine leader to lead their mother Land(Sweet Land of Liberty) forward with the help of our One and True Savior, the Lord God Almighty Elohim. There is no where like home, I pray to the Lord God Almighty Elohim that we have the blessings to see our children’s children have a country that they can call their own, with prosperity, honor, and blessings throughout the land. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! In Union strong, success is sure.

  7. Is my hope that Alexander Cummings wins the election, Liberia will truly transform. Liberia problem has always been Innovative Leadership. Someone who’s willing to bring fresh ideas, understand the needs of the people and come up with solutions to address those needs!

    The VP JNB, really expect us to accept that he’s been in government as the sitting vice president for 12 years, getting paid by the public thousands of dollars but, has had zero influence in his position.

    We should ask for a refund!!

    Wow Amizing!, but if you as a Liberian impose no accountability via your vote, you have no one to blame but yourself for the next 6 years!!

    #Harts&Minds

  8. Well said Abraham Nebo, but I pray and that other Liberians will put personal interest aside, open their eyes to the light and vote for the future of our children, grand children and great grand.
    For the past uncountable years in office what has Joseph Boakai accomplish, what is his track record? All you hear from his supporters and well wishers is, he knows the Liberian people problem, he is honest, a disciplinarian and so forth, but has no accomplishments.
    Almost 80% of the people that are currently ruining that country through corruption and greed are the ones currently backing the old man because, they know there will be no change. The corruption will continue, there will no pressure put on the legislative to passed better bill than increasing their benefits and salary, while rest of the country live in extreme poverty, corrupt officials won’t be held accountable for their corruption, because it’s the Liberian way and Joseph Boakai is part and parcel of it.

    Why and my fellow Liberians…. we can’t stop doing the same old thing that got us to be one of the poorest nation on earth and tried something new. Is it a cursed on us as a people, that we just don’t know how to make better decisions or choices.
    Look at the people we voted for as Representatives and Senators, what have they done?

    And I asked myself this question, will we ever change? And my answer to myself from what I am seeing is, NOPE. We will always be Liberians.

  9. The only presidential candidate in comes 2017, October 10, election, that’s speaks Liberian political language is Boakai. Think, Love and build Liberia have won majority in the entire country. Thou the UP government did not do all well but Joseph N. Boakai, respected all citizens, there is no records of him insulting citizens like other officials did. For his wisdom and respect Liberans preferred him leading the country for the next 6 years. Many Liberians believed that Boakai will invest in Liberia then the other stander bearers.

  10. All the candidates have one way or another work in the goverment for a long lenght of time with the exception of Mr. Commings and Mr. Weah who just started working in the Sanete. My thing here is, they know the loop hole, they want to explote the Liberian people by stealing. Boakai is too old and he can not run the goverment.Atleast Mr. Weah got the country at heart. Mr. Commings have been in private sector , God’s knows how long. Gave him a chance ,he will do a better job. If Ellen can not endosed Boakai, what that means? He is not fit for the Job.

  11. The Vice President Joseph Boakai has done a lot for the people of Lofa County by uniting them. Since his incumbency as V.P. in post war Liberia the people of Lofa County have buried their differences under his dynamic leadership. This is the main reason that they are united in their support for him. Let us as Liberians give him this opportunity to lead as our next president. We have seen the character of his boss who refused to support him.Taking into account or consideration of what happened on Saturday, it is abundantly clear that his boss never afforded him opportunity to advance any suggestions. She tied his both hands to prevent him from doing anything positive for his country. This is the first time that I have seen this kind of behavior for the outgoing president to abandon her vice president after working for her almost a decade. Whatever happened between them has now been exposed. This is not a good thing for a peaceful Liberia. For the president to considered a ground breaking ceremony more important than being there to support her Vice president Joseph Boakai to succeed her as the next president sets a bad precedent. This vice president has the experience and qualification to be our next president of Liberia. So let’s support him by voting for him on October 10, 2017. UNITY PARTY must go all the way until victory is won!

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