Liberia set for presidential elections October 10, Weah seeks second term

Liberians are going to the polls on Tuesday to decide who’s going to be the country’s President. There are 19 people running for president looking to succeed President George Weah, who is running for reelection.

Three candidates stand out as potential opponents for Weah, a former international football star who received more than 61 per cent of the vote in the second round in 2017.

When he won the election, there were then great expectations for reform in Liberia, but it seems expectations of the people of Liberia were not met.

In order to match his stature as a sporting icon, Weah had spent the prior ten years establishing his political legitimacy, including three years in the Senate. The 57-year-old is currently running a vigorous campaign to persuade Liberians that he can still better their lives.

Joseph Boakai, who finished second in the last round of voting in 2017, appears to be running for president for the last time at the age of 78. He has spent forty years working for the state.

Boakai, who served as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s vice president from 2006 to 2018, can be proud of his years of expertise. However, opponents have dubbed President Samuel Doe’s agriculture minister “Sleepy Joe” and suggested it’s time for him to step down.

In contrast to the US-Liberian aristocracy, who formed the free nation and are sprung from slaves, Boakai is an indigenous person, like George Weah.

He says that his lengthy career has been defined by integrity and that it has included criticism of the Weah administration’s ties to many corruption issues.

He is running on an agenda that will improve the country’s infrastructure, invest in agriculture, entice investors, welcome tourists, and repair the country’s reputation.

As a candidate for the Unity Party, one of the most influential political parties in Liberia, Boakai has long been preparing for the race.

He has formed an alliance with Prince Johnson, a former warlord who is now a senator and had supported Weah in 2017. He also enjoys great support in his own province of Nimba in the north. Because of this, he has remained one of the favourites to go to the second round of voting.

Another candidate who stands out as Weah’s strong opponent is 67-year-old Tiawan Gongloe, a lawyer who has been one of the frontiers in advocating for those responsible for the civil war Liberia to be punished as he was one of the thousands of Liberians that felt the scorches of the war.

The 67-year-old calls his presidential campaign a “breath of fresh air” on his website. The attorney is presenting his argument to voters for the first time, but he is not a newcomer to politics.

His main area of focus is corruption. He served as prosecutor general and later as labour minister under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from 2006 to 2010.

Gongloe, a native of Nimba, promises to assist the most vulnerable people and to make it easier for them to attend education.

He represents himself with a broom, promising to clear up the mess caused by poor leadership and finally hold those accountable for the atrocities of the 1989–2003 civil conflict accountable.

The last on the list of Weah’s three main opponents is 66-year-old Alexander Cummings, who finished fifth in the previous Presidential Election In 2017 with just 7.2 percent of the vote.

Despite not being famous and popular like Weah, his work especially in the senior ranks of Coca Cola helped build a fortune that has enabled him to finance development projects at home.

”I’ll vote Cummings. He’s the best candidate. He has the qualifications and connections. He will know how to create jobs,” electrician Augustine Koffer, 34, said at a rally in the capital Monrovia.

Author: Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a Sierra Leonean content writer, author, Neo Pan-African and founder of The African Dream, an online platform for inspiring, positive and compelling African stories. Contact: WhatsApp: +23276211583

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