The third consecutive run-off between the ruling Unity Party or UP and the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC is expected to show visible cracks within the ranks and files of dozens of opposition political parties as to which candidate to support in the impending run-off.
Already, executives of the United People’s Party or UPP and their 2017 Presidential Candidate Mr. Macdonald Wento appear to be at loggerheads following the latter’s declaration of support to the CDC days after preliminary results show that a run-off between the CDC and UP is likely.
UPP National Chairman T. Q. Harris told the New Dawn via telephone on Tuesday that his party is yet to declared support for any party in the run-off.
Dr. Harris said any decision taken by the party will be made known to the public through a written press statement. Former Grand Kru Senator Blamo Nelson, who is also an executive of the UPP, amplified Dr. Harris’ comment, telling this writer that the National Chairman’s statement is the current position of the party.
Asked if the comment suggests that the party is not in support of the declaration made by its standard-bearer? Both men declined further comment.
But their statement clearly suggests that the declaration made by Mr. Wento, a former stewart of the CDC was unilateral. Wento endorsed the CDC of football legend George Manneh Weah just as preliminary results show an imminent presidential run - off expected between the UP and the CDC.
Wento, a founding member of the Congress for Democratic Change which now forms coalition with former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) of imprisoned ex-president Charles Ghankay Taylor and indicted former Speaker Alex Tyler’s Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP) currently trails the CDC and UP with 8,613 votes about 0.6 % of the votes counted so far.
NEC is expected to announce the final results of the October 10 polls this Friday. Over the weekend, UPP’s Wento along with former stalwarts of the party stormed the headquarters of the CDC in total celebrations as he declared his endorsement of the CDC.
With final results expected this Friday with over 95 per cent of votes counted so far, the CDC has comfortably obtained 39.0 per cent of the total votes cast ahead of UP which has 29.1 per cent.
Most political parties here have often used the run-off elections as bargaining chips for future government positions. Some have actually used that to collect huge sums from those seeking their supports.
Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson who is currently trending in six places among the presidential candidates, as the NEC announces provisional results command a huge following in his native Nimba and his loyalty could possibly determines the country’s 25th President. But whether this could be said of other candidates leading their followers to the next party in the run-off is yet to be seen.
By Othello B. Garblah