By Jerromie S. Walters

As the only female in the pending runoff election, scores of women have committed themselves to the Vice President’s quest to maintain her seat. As anyone will expect, their decision is prompted by the fact that her (VP Taylor) defeat will automatically bring an end to women presence at the country’s second highest position.

Last weekend, the CPP endorsed Weah-Taylor’s ticket. The event that took place at the CPP headquarters in Sinkor, Monrovia and was attended by top officials of both the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the CPP including Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu, Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine, vice standard bearer of the CPP, and CPP Chairman Musa Hansan Bility.

Reading the party’s endorsement statement, ANC’s Secretary-general Counselor Aloysius Toe said the negotiation team, led by CPP’s former vice standard bearer Cllr. Brumskine met with both CDC and UP and they all agreed with the CPP’s terms and conditions.

He said the decision to choose which party to support then rested squarely on the shoulders of the executive committees of both the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the Liberty Party (LP), the two constituent parties of the CPP. And both executive committees overwhelmingly chose the CDC, he said.

“It is my distinguished pleasure and honor to announce to the world and the Liberian people that partisans and executives of the CPP, representing the membership of the LP and the ANC have resolved to support the reelection of President George Manneh Weah. Our decision to support the CDC is based on the realization that the CDC has committed to implement our 12-point proposals,” Cllr. Toe declared.

Speaking earlier before the endorsement, VP Taylor said the decision of the CPP showed that it requires the collective effort to build Liberia. The VP, who sounded more conciliatory, extended an apology to the CPP for whatever wrong the ruling CDC may have caused them in the past. “I want to say if we have done anything to anger anybody or to make anybody excluded, let me be the first to say we are so sorry. We need to make our politics more unique. So that we care for what’s happening on the other side and the other side will care for what’s happening to us. So, I believe this is a new day. Let’s rise to the challenges, let’s put our goods together and let’s build Liberia.”

Cllr. Brumskine said the decision was not an easy task. “No one should ever think that this was an easy decision. We made the decision after careful thoughts and we hope that after November 14, we will all rally around Liberia and move this country forward,” she said. 

Like other women, Madam Julia Duncan Cassell, has also endorsed the VP. She describes the incumbent- “President George Manneh Weah (Great Man Walking) “Born to succeed.”

In her opinion, President Weah is, “Liberia’s Miracle Child’ and the man who does the unusual.” With this, she has endorsed the reelection bid of the only female candidate in the runoff. Madam Julia Duncan Cassell is a former Gender Minister. She ran as representative against Matthew Joe in the just ended elections.

Weeks ago, in what political pundits described as a dramatic twist, Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh, the influential leader of the Friends of Edith (FOE) Movement in Nimba County, confirmed her support to the reelection of President George Weah in the upcoming runoff Presidential election.

This surprise endorsement, which came to light on October 26, 2023, has sparked a fervent discussion about its potential impact on Liberia’s political dynamics. Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh, a prominent figure in Nimba politics, emphasized the gravity of her decision, stressing the crucial need to choose a leader capable of steering Liberia away from its tumultuous history of underdevelopment and civil conflict.

She made it clear that the FOE Movement’s endorsement of President Weah was the result of thorough consultations and assessments involving their supporters, well-wishers, and a consideration of various factors affecting the election. The endorsement of President Weah by the FOE Movement is a watershed moment in the run-up to the election, signaling their belief that he is the most suitable candidate to lead the nation at this critical juncture.

They have also expressed their hope that this endorsement will serve as a challenge to President Weah to govern effectively in his potential second term.

This development adds an intriguing layer of complexity to Liberia’s electoral landscape, given the FOE Movement’s substantial following in Nimba County. The Friends of Edith have pledged to conduct an energetic campaign in support of President Weah and the Coalition for Democratic Change, with an emphasis on their message of national reconciliation, reconstruction, and renewal for Liberia.

This endorsement took place against the backdrop of a long-standing political rivalry between Madam Gongloe-Weh and Senator Jeremiah Koung, who defeated her in the 2020 senatorial elections. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that on October 25, Madam Gongloe-Weh’s brother, Cllr. Tiawon S. Gongloe, who leads the Liberian People’s Party, endorsed Joe Boakai, the standard-bearer of the Unity Party Alliance, for the presidency. 

Last weekend, Bong County District #6 Representative Moima Briggs Mensah, conglomerated hundreds of citizens of Salala District, Bong County, at the District administrative hall, and endorsed the Weah-Taylor’s ticket ahead of the pending runoff election.

At said occasion- Representative Briggs encouraged that as they (electorate) did for her in the October 10, 2023- legislative election, similar commitment must be replicated in the VP’s interest. “I know Jewel, she can’t lie. Jewel will not come to do it for all of you.” “Jewel is number two, go on the 14th of November and vote number two. If it’s not for you, do it for Bong County. 

“She stood up for Bong, she has shown women’s representation. She has put Bong County on the map.” With this, she assures- “We will stand by you as women because you are our own. We will vote for you, we will talk to people and we will make sure that you will be re-elected because you are our own.”

She tells her supporters, “My traditional neighbors, thank you. I will support Jewel because the six years I heard her talking. When things were not done properly, she’s on record, she spoke about it.” “Thanks for always being there when I call, thank you, thanks to the men that stand by their women to support, thank you-“Representative Moima Briggs Mensah, acclaimed the Vice President.

Following Friday’s endorsement in Bong County, the endorsement for the re-election of President George Manneh Weah continues to swell, with the latest coming from an Independent Vice-Presidential candidate, Madam Cecelia Cuffy Brown who has overwhelmingly endorsed the Liberian leader for his second term bid.

In a statement issued a few days ago, Madam Cuffy Brown recalled, “on July 15th, 2023, I entered the Liberian electoral race to contest for the Position of Vice President of Liberia, pairing with Robert F. Morris who contested for the Presidency of Liberia.”

“On Oct 10, 2023, we exercised our fundamental right to vote, exercising our political franchise. At the end of the election, no one was declared a winner, however, the Unity Party and CDC emerged as the top 2 political parties to contest the runoff election. After much prayer and soul searching, of the two candidates put forward, Joseph Boakai and George Weah, I selected to endorse the 2nd term of Dr. George Manneh Weah. Mr. Weah took over the nation’s affairs and navigated the past 6 years with difficulties yet with grace to develop the nation. Despite tough economic situations in Liberia and all around the world, there are tangible development projects that can be seen throughout his 6-year term. It is only prudent that we give him an additional 6 years so that he completes his national development projects.”

 In endorsing President Weah, what I like to see going forward are the augmentation of the salaries of Civil Servants, the security sector, job creation, and true harmonization of salaries to commensurate with the current economic standard. She also thanked and cautioned all Liberians to put the peace that we have enjoyed under this government first, and not let the arrow speed of taking power break the peace that we paid so dearly for.”

The Weah-Taylor ticket is being supported by newly elected Grand Cape Mount County District 1, Representative Bintu Mansaray and Gbessie Feika Sonii, District 3, Grand Cape Mount County Representative elect.

VP Taylor is also being supported by Representative elect Rugie Barry of District 1, Montserrado County, Wokie Dolo, a representative candidate in the recent elections and several other women.