Liberia: Former Education Minister, George Werner Drops Grand Kru County Senatorial Bid
Monrovia – Mr. George Werner, Minister of Education in the administration of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf had ended his bid to become Senator of Grand Kru county.
In a statement late Tuesday night, Mr. Werner cited the lack of resources which has made it difficult for him to continue to the journey into politics.
Mr. Werner said it has been a privilege to engage people of Grand Kru over the past several months, learning about the challenges they face, and discussing their priorities for the future. “From improving education and healthcare to creating quality jobs for young people and supporting fishermen and women in business, it is clear there is much work to be done to unleash the full potential of our great County,” he said.
“From improving education and healthcare to creating quality jobs for young people and supporting fishermen and women in business, it is clear there is much work to be done to unleash the full potential of our great County.Mr. George Werner, Former Minister of Education
Mr. Werner however said he came to the difficult decision to suspend his political aspirations, due to the significant resources required to mount a successful campaign under these Covid-19 circumstances. “When I first announced my intentions, I noted that I was not running against anyone, but rather, against time. Grand Kru still urgently needs a different voice than what we’ve been receiving – and political representation is not the only way to bring out this voice. We have to find nonconventional ways to help our people marshal their energy to unleash their potentials.”
The former Education Minister said he will however remain engaged in Grand Kru to pursue a clear nongovernmental agenda that is consistent with my passion for human capital development and entrepreneurial thinking. “Even as I suspend my ambitions, I am announcing the Grand Kru Rising Business Idea Competition – a program that I hope will serve as fuel for the engine of a movement of young Grand Kru entrepreneurs. The details of this program will be forthcoming.”
Werner’s exit comes barely 24 hours after the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change named incumbent Peter Coleman as its candidate to contest the senatorial election for the county.
Werner faced an uphill task since taking to social media to flirt with his candidacy. “I’ll be a relevant factor in the 2020 Senatorial elections in Liberia!”, he posted in January.
Ironically, Mr. Werner, was one of the first Sirleaf official to support the George Weah candidacy during the height of the 2017 presidential elections, came under fire during the last days of the Sirleaf presidency, when expressing his support for Mr. Weah, took aim at the ruling party’s candidate, former Vice President Joseph Boakai.
Mr. Werner posted on Facebook, while weighing in on the VP’s analogy of a parked car by saying: “What a race car? No sensible person parks a race car that long. It was probably not road worthy, or it was too old to maintain. Get the director of transport to send it to GSA for retirement. Bad analogy!”
Werner also jabbed in some of his posts, “Education is ‘tabata’ (a Kru word meaning nonsense)” and that “book people will eat?”
The post prompted former President Sirleaf to issue a word of caution, indicating that the Minister’s Social Media statement was a contradiction aimed at undermining her caution on vulgarity, abuse and spread of hate messages by some Liberians during the Electoral process on social media.
Regarding his senatorial bid, Werner told FrontPageAfrica that he was exploring a 2020 run because he strongly believes that the time for a new generation of Grand Kru County leadership is now. “It’s time to reclaim Grand Kru County’s legitimate voice to drive sustainable national policy decisions at the Liberian Legislature. We are living through a moment of heightened concerns about the future. This moment demands that our national policies reflect a deep understanding of what everyday people of this great County are going through. Grand Kru County deserves a senator that embodies its highest values — values like Courage, Community, Family, Hard work, and Independent Thinking.”