ANC’s endorsed aspirant warns
The opposition Alternative National Congress has endorsed the senatorial bid of Mr. Taa Wongbe as its candidate for the pending special senatorial election in December this year, awaiting the expected CPP primary as part fo the final decision-making process.
Mr. Wongbe, who will be vying for the seat against other candidates including Nimba County District #1 Representative Jeremiah Koung, threw a jab that “There will be no by-election; we will beat them, but we must stand strong to avoid cheating.” The public sentiments and belief that the incumbent always has the edge to determine who wins an election is casting fear in the opposition that the ruling party may manipulate the National Elections Commission to cheat in its (ruling party) favor.
According to the head of the primary committee of the party, Mr. Targen Woantee, this primary will be the fourth primary. He said the first primary was in Grand Cape Mount, followed by Maryland and River Gee counties.
He explained that the CPP gave each of the four collaborating parties two counties; Maryland and Grand Cape Mount for the Alternative National Congress; Bomi and Gbarpolu for All Liberian Party; Bong, and Lofa for the Unity Party, and Grand Bassa and Montserrado for the Liberty Party. In each of the remaining seven counties, each party will select its candidate and there will be a general primary by CPP in those counties to Select candidates among the aspirants to represent the CPP against its opposition.
Commenting further, Taa Wongbe said that Nimba is ‘stocked’ and it is now time to put their house in order to move the county forward. “We must move Nimba forward,” he said.
There are about seven persons who have expressed their interest to contest the pending senatorial election in Nimba. They include incumbent Senator Thomas S. Grupee, Rep. Jeremiah Koung, Mrs. Edith Gongloe-Weh, immediate past Superintendent Dorr Cooper, former Senator Adolphus Dolo, former District #4 Representative Garrison Yealue, and Taa Wongbe himself.
But among the candidates, Jeremiah Koung is the only sitting Representative whose victory will create another vacancy for a by-election.
Mr. Wongbe and the Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh are connected to the CPP from different political parties; with Madam Gongloe-Weh representing the Liberty Party.
There had been some wrangling among the two political parties about which party must designate a candidate to represent the CPP in the pending senatorial election.
Earlier, Madam Gongloe-Weh, who had in two elections (2011 and 2014) contested for the Senate and lost to Senators Thomas Grupee and Prince Johnson, respectively, had earmarked that if the CPP does not carry her, she would go as an independent candidate and will “Drag everyone in the mud.”
The political heat is intensifying in Nimba especially with the endorsement of Representative Koung by Senator Prince Johnson whom a large crowd follows and has been the key decision-maker as to who wins an election especially in a presidential runoff election in the county.
However, in the 2017 legislative election, only two of Senator Johnson’s Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) party won in Nimba among over four candidates that were fielded.
While the CPP is yet to decide who contests on its ticket in the vote-rich county, members are also contemplating on ensuring that the seat of the county does not go to an incumbent Representative (ie Jeremiah Koung).
Representative Larry Younquoi of District #8 has said: “I am here to fight politically from now to December. Nimba needs redemption, so let’s be careful at the polling centers as poll watchers.” Rep. Younquoi has disclosed that he has gotten leaked information unveiling the intention of the ruling CDC to steal the pending election in favor of its candidates.
Rep. Younquoi urged partisans of the ANC and the CPP to ensure that Rep. Koung does not win the election.