-Four Senators Vying For Presidential; VP Posts
When the polls open on October 10, 2017 for the electorate to elect a president, vice president, and 73 members of the House of Representatives, one or two seats may be left vacant for by-election(s) as four Senators vie for three presidential and a vice presidential post.
Although the election for Senators is not due until 2020, three Senators, Prince Yormie Johnson of Nimba County; George Manneh Weah of Montserrado County; and Oscar Cooper of Margibi County are on the ballot paper for the presidential race, while Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor (who could become the first female Vice President of Liberia and first female President of the Senate) is the running mate to Senator Weah.
The political pendulum, however, seems to be swinging to the George Weah-Jewel Howard Taylor team of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) as reasonable contestants, while Senators Johnson, who was third in the 2011 elections, and Oscar Cooper are likely to retain their respective Senatorial seats.
Senators Weah and Johnson are representing the Liberian Senate at the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, and have been observed during recent Senatorial sessions sitting very close together always in deep head-to-head conversations, building speculations that the Movement for Reconstruction and Democracy party leader may support the CDC presidential hopeful in the event of a run-off.
Another record is likely to come into play in both the Lower House, where current Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay is the running mate to the current President of the Liberian Senate, Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai – both would become the first Speaker of the House and President of the Liberian Senate to be elected in a multi-party democratic election.
Unlike the Senate’s three presidential and one vice presidential contenders, Vice President Boakai and Speaker Nuquay are in a must-win situation with no provision to retain their respective posts.
Senators, according to the Secretary of Senate, J. Nanborlor F. Sengbeh, meanwhile, returned to Capitol Hill this morning to continue Legislative Chamber works, following two weeks of Independence Day celebrations. Ahead of their pre-Independence Day break, the Senators overwhelmingly concurred with the House of Representatives to pass the National Budget for the 2017/18 Fiscal Year in the amount of US$563,563,432 million.