Liberia: Konobo Citizens Hold Dialogue to Select Consensus Candidate For 2023 Legislative Seat
MONROVIA — Liberians are expected to go to the polls in October 2023 to elect new members of National Legislature and president including those from Konobo Statutory District in Grand Gedeh County.
Given the significance of ensuring that the District is adequately represented at the National Legislature come 2023, the elders and people of the District have convened a dialogue among individuals who have expressed interest in seeking the people’s mandate and deemed potential suitors to engender a consensus candidate that would represent the best interests of all citizens of the district. The elders are apprehensive that fielding many candidates will jeopardize the district’s chances of securing a seat at the 2023 polls.
In the aftermaths of conversation with the four frontrunners for the district’s seat, the elders voted twenty-two (22) out of twenty nine (29) to select Mr. Willie M. Dweh as the consensus candidate that everyone should support for the district’s representative seat.
Following the elders’ decision to select Mr. Dweh after holding talks with the other potential candidates: Mr.Alex Gee, Mr. Patrick Bowah, and Willie M. Dweh recognizes the effort of the elders of Konobo Statutory District ahead of next year’s representative elections with profound gratitude.
The elders at the weekend of December 23, 2022, held weeklong engagement with the four sons of the district, Mr. Alex Gee, Patrick Bowah, Willie M. Dweh, and Shem Jallayu, to limit the number of candidates on the ballot paper in the 2023 elections. All four men have interests in contesting for the district seat at the Legislature next year.
The group indicated that while the entire district bears the name Konobo, Konobo Administrative District or majority konobo speaking people have failed to produce the district representative in Liberia’s postwar elections. The influx of many Konobo people – some registering weeks before the election – slims the chances of Konobo producing a representative since 1985.
The elders believe that this is a deadlock that can be broken if Konobo sends a single candidate for the representative race. Against this backdrop, the elders assembled the four men that are believed to be popular among the citizens for a dialog – a dialog which advises three out of the four men to step aside after a vote by the elders.
According to Friends of Willie M. Dweh, this is a bitter pill for Mr. Jallayu, Mr. Bowah, and Mr. Gee to swallow. However, sending a singular candidate with the consensus of the people increases chances of victory for Konobo. This is why, the Friends of Willie Dewh, applauds the two men for understanding the importance of the elders’ plead for one person to seek election.
FWMD also hailed the three honorable men for putting hope over ambition and for putting humility over pride for the sake of our people. Friends of Willie M. Dweh does not consider this decision by the elders as a victory for the Friends of Willie M. Dweh movement. The decision is the beginning of victory for the Konobo people.
Friends of Willie M. Dweh assures the three honorable men cordiality in all its engagements throughout this elections process and after the elections.
“Our chief patron Willie McGill Dweh is a selfless leader and a man with an advanced understanding of the Liberian politics. Mr. Dweh also comes with foreign professional experience and a very high education. As a man with listening ears and a heart for duty, Mr. Dweh is positioned to work in the interest of all Liberians. That is why our appreciation to the elders and our prominent citizens for this meeting is unending,” the group mentioned.
Mr. Dweh pointed out that the bigger picture is that the elders’ move helps both the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the voters. The fewer the candidates on a ballot paper the easier the NEC’s civic voters’ education message gets across. The voters, meanwhile will have fewer options which reduces the chances of mass invalid vote. It is on these premises that FWMD thanks the elders for their intervention and also profoundly thanks Hon Jallayu, Hon. Bowah, and Hon. Gee for respecting the decision of our elders. We are aware that the elders’ decision may result in resentment by any of the three honorable men. That is why we keep our arms open for further dialog to have a consolidated team for the 2023 elections.
Konobo first, Konobo last,” the group indicated.