One of the contenders for the standard bearership of the ruling Unity Party, Dr. Toga Gaywea McIntosh has accused the chairman for the July 7, 2016 national convention of the UP, Bong County Representative Prince Moye and electoral committee member Representative Clarence Massaquoi of being strong supporters of Vice President Joseph Boakai, who is also in the race for the party’s top seat.
In a letter dated June 20, 2016 addressed to UP National Chairman Senator Varney Sherman, Dr. McIntosh expressed, “I present my compliments and would like to officially tender my objection to the appointment of the chair and co-chair of the elections subcommittee as constituted. We take note, with deep concern, the fact that both appointees have publicly demonstrated support for a competitor,” he said.
The letter continued that given the pivotal role both posts entail in the electoral process, it is the firm belief that their appointments have much to be desired over the process. Dr. McIntosh said consistent with universally accepted principle; membership of any electoral committee must strike the delicate balance of exercising their franchise rights while remaining impartial when exercising its duties and mandate.
He said by endorsing a particular contestant, for all intent and purposes, the core values and principles of impartiality are already defeated and the issue of fairness called into question instantly thereby, compromising the process.
“From the incept of my announcement to contest as standard bearer for our great Unity Party, I have repeatedly stated that we will honor any outcome of the electoral process, provided it is conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner. However, I have also indicated, that should the process at any point be compromised, as inferred in our current concern, and when not adequately and judiciously addressed, we reserve the right to take appropriate measures that uphold our integrity and moral values,” Dr. McIntosh, a strategist, diplomat and former Vice President for ECOWAS explained in his communication.
He stressed that in light of the concern raised, and in the interest of credibility, fairness, and legitimacy of the electoral process, Chairman Varney Sherman and entire executive committee of the Unity Party should timely intervention in rectifying the situation.
“In this vein, and giving that the convention is less than two weeks away, it shall be greatly appreciated that the requested intervention be addressed based on its merit by the 24th June latest. We would like to state, for record, that had the situation been reversed and the chair and co-chair of this committee happened to be staunch supporters for my candidacy, our position and objection would remain the same,” the letter concludes.
Dr. McIntsoh alleged that both individuals occupying the respective posts have publically declared their support for Vice President Joseph Boakai, his opponent; adding that it is a clear violation of the principle of ‘fairness’ given the vital role of pre and post- elections.
However, when Representative Clarence Massaquoi was contacted via mobile phone, he refused to comment on grounds that he has not been told or the information has not come to this attention. For Representative Prince Moye, his phone rang endlessly.
Meanwhile, Dr. McIntosh has categorically refuted recent reports in some media outlets that he has officially pulled out of the race, ahead of the party’s convention scheduled for July 7 in Gbarnga, Bong County.
The former Planning and Economic Affairs Minister said he has not stopped vying for the standard bearer post of the UP nor has he abandoned his quest to seek the presidency of Liberia.
However, he reiterated his stand on taking appropriate measures in determining his next course of action now that the deadline has passed. He told the media over the weekend that he is actively consulting his advisors and constituents on the best way to proceed and will come up with an official statement soon.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne