Liberia: Melee Kermue to Contest Bong County District One Seat in 2023


District One, Bong County – Melee Kermue, a political ally to Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, has confirmed his intentions to contest as representative in electoral District One in 2023.

Kermue, a native of Kpaii District who contested the 2005 senatorial election in Bong County, made the declaration on Saturday at a town hall meeting with residents of Kpaii District.

This comes after months of speculations amongst a section of the District One public on his intentions.

He told Kpaii residents that it has been his “age-long ambition to lead his native District One as lawmaker one day”  and believes 2023 is the time.

“I have informed the Howard-Taylor of my ambition and she has accepted for me to contest after several consultations,” he said.

Kermue and Howard-Taylor were actively involved in the election of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change in 2017 in Bong County, helping the party to win Bong County in both rounds of the election for the first time, but claimed things “haven’t worked with him as was planned with the ruling party due to the rumored rivalry between the vice president”.

“The vice president and I played a massive role in making the CDC win Bong County but our efforts to fulfill promises made to our people in Bong County during the 2017 elections have been difficult because those in the CDC see me as an ally to the vice president,” he said.

Kermue’s statement was in response to allegations made against the vice president by residents of Kpaii District who said that his intentions to seek their votes in 2023 would be scrutinized if it’s established that he’s a proxy candidate for the vice president in 2023.

Kermue’s bid under scrutiny 

There have been mixed reactions amongst District One residents with some raising questions about his criminal record with the Reynoldsburg home health-care company in the United States of America after admitting to a Medicaid fraud scheme.

FrontPageAfrica gathered that Kermue, 39, was sentenced in a U.S. District Court to 22 months in prison for the scheme and was required to pay $272,535.50 in restitution.

Kermue in October 2008 pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit health-care fraud. Indicted in 2005 with Wilma Bailey, Kermue admitted to conspiring to submit 4,800 claims to the state Medicaid program for more than $272,500 through his company, Hope Home Health Care Inc.

The government said the activity took place between July 2002 and October 2004. Kermue and Bailey fled in 2005 to their Liberia homeland and Bailey returned last year. Kermue returned in August 2008.

Hope Home Health Care provided in-home nursing services to Medicaid patients, officials said. Kermue admitted to submitting fictitious times and dates of services and turning in claims for in-home care when patients were hospitalized.