Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and standard bearer of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s governing Unity Party has got every reason to keep his choice for vice standard bearer secrete, amid widespread public speculations here on who could be a suitable running mate for the UP standard bearer.
The rumor mills have never been short of names for possible choice with the recent being former Senate President Pro-tempore Milton Gbehzongar Findley, former Ambassador JeremaihSuluteh, and others.
But the Vice President has remained conspicuously silent on the issue, preferring to keep the card close to his chest, creating anxiety and speculations. So it has been for the man who was elected on white ballot midway into last year at the national convention of the ruling party held in Gbarnga, Bong County.
However, the New Dawn has stumbled on the name of a high profile personality with impeccable public service credential both locally and internationally, who many say, may be just the right choice for running mate to the UP standard bearer.
She is former Finance Minister and Director of the African Department of the International Monitoring Fund or IMF, Dr. Antoinette MonsioSayeh, who served in the first term of this government and left an impressive record at the nation’s financial house with civil servants receiving salary every two weeks.
Many say to maintain the pace and flow of international aid to Liberia after Madam Sirleaf, whoever emerges as President in October, would need someone of the stature of Dr. Sayeh for an easy takeoff.
An economist, who is well abreast about the inner workings of international development partners and donors’ support to developing countries, Dr. Sayeh could just be that enviable character that the Vice President have long been searching for to pick as running mate nearly a year since his endorsement as standard bearer of the UP.
Dr. Sayeh earns a bachelor’s degree in economics from Swarthmore College and a PhD in International Economic Relations from Fletcher School, Tuffs University, both in America.
She was posted at the World Bank where she worked for 17 consecutive years, occupying position such as County Director for Niger, Benin and Togo prior to coming to Liberia to serve in the government.
She led efforts in the international community which led to the waiver of Liberia’s US$4.5 billion debts following protracted bloody civil war and subsequent restoration of democratic governance.
Dr. Sayeh is also credited for reforming the INF concessional leading facilities and its debts limits policy, and played a very instrumental role in luring emergency financial aid and debt relief to the three Ebola devastated countries in West Africa – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
On her retirement from the IMF in 2016, ex-Managing Director and French economist, Christine Lagarde, hailed Dr. Sayeh for her enormous influence in cementing the Fund’s relations with African countries.
“Sayeh has been a great leader of the African Department, a respected colleague, a friend and a mentor to many. Her dedication is unparalleled and her contribution to the Fund has been truly outstanding”, Director Lagarde has been quoted as saying.
If eventually picked by Ambassador Boakai as running mate, Dr. Sayeh could be Liberia’s strategic eye to global financial trends, and bilateral and multilateral support that this country badly needs to remain afloat following the euphoria of electoral victory at the ballot box. Story
-by Jonathan Browne