The Ruling Unity Party says it is not troubled with respect to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s statement that she has paved the way for the “next generation to lead Liberia into the future.”
Johnson Sirleaf’s statement, which was contained in her final address at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York, has become a source of controversy with some members of the opposition community claiming the President has favored their candidate.
But UP’s National Campaign Spokesman Mohammed Ali has told journalists that the President does not have the authority to decide who becomes the next president of Liberia, rather the people of Liberia.
“We don’t have a monarchy form of government here where in when somebody in power dies, or wants to retire, he or she has to determine who becomes the next queen or king. That is not the form of government here in Liberia.” He said.
“The form of government in Liberia is called democracy, which is determined by the Liberian people. So, for us, we are not carried away by the president’s statement. We don’t consider it as a worrying comment. What we are focusing on now is our campaign and we are going to ensure we reach all out to the Liberian people to capture the presidency this October.”
President Sirleaf’s message to give power to the next generation will not easily resonate, because the presidency is not one person, Mr. Ali said.
Mo Ali: “We (UP) have a presidential ticket that is comprised of the Vice President who is 72 –year-old and his running mate James Emmanuel Nuquay, who is also 48 years of age,
“if you take the average, it brings you to the 60s which qualifies the ticket as the most experienced and prepared ticket for the 2017 elections.
“Most of the candidates in the race from the top to the least contenders are in the 50s or 60s. So, we can’t be talking about generational change and someone would say Unity Party’s ticket is not in the range,”
He threw dig at the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change, whose supporters have claimed that the President was referring to their presidential candidate Senator George Weah.
”If the President is talking about ability and capability as she said to CNN, George Weah is not one of those prepared young folks the president talked about. He is not capable,” he said.
Writes Alex Yomah