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‘Examining All Legal Options’: Liberia’s Opposition Leader Benoni Urey Takes High Road After Verbal Assault from President

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Monrovia – Mr. Benoni Urey, the leader of the opposition alliance that includes his All Liberia Party, the former ruling Unity Party, the Liberty Party and the Alternative National Congress(ANC) says he is taking the high road following a verbal tirade of accusations against him from President George Manneh Weah.

“It is regrettable that the president of Liberia will stoop to that level. Now the Liberian people can see the gravity of the problems in our country. Today my heart bleeds for Liberia. “God have mercy on Liberia.”

Mr. Benoni Urey

President Weah used his time at the podium Saturday, during program marking the launch of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) campaign launch for by-elections in Montserrado County for seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, to throw verbal jabs at Mr. Urey and Senatorial candidate Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon.
The President slammed the opposition leader for lacking a history of winning elections and promised to defeat him in this by-election for a third time running.

The President threw pointed jabs at Mr. Urey, accusing businessman Benoni Urey of being a killer and a thief, in what he says was a response to Mr. Urey’s description of his partisans as political party cockroaches.

Said President Weah: “This is a man that has never won anything, he supported his brother I defeated him, get ready tightened your belts there is no way the Urey’s can win election in Montserrado County because they are wicked people. We are cockroaches but they are killers, we are cockroaches, they are thieves.”

The President said Mr. Urey and the opposition are testing the ruling party’s resolve. “They call you tiny, tiny, CDCians and cockroaches and come to ask for your votes. I will be specific today because I came to make fuss… Benoni Urey is not associated with victory, the only thing I recall for Urey is that when he wanted to leave from UN sanction list, he came to me and I helped him make his first foreign trip.”

Speaking to FPA Sunday, Mr. Urey denied the President’s claim that he assisted him to get off the travel ban and lamented his utterances. “It is regrettable that the president of Liberia will stoop to that level. Now the Liberian people can see the gravity of the problems in our country. Today my heart bleeds for Liberia. “God have mercy on Liberia.”

The businessman/politician said he will not return hate-filled verbal insults on the President but will explore his legal options. “I am viewing all legal options as this is a treat on my family and we don’t take it lightly. I view the President’s utterances as a threat on my family.”

The Liberian President threw jabs at opposition politicians by boasting of being the “chosen one”. He also promised to deny the four collaborating political parties a victory in the pending by-elections.

On December 23, 2013, the United Nations Security Council delisted Mr. Benoni Urey from both its travel and assets freeze ban, declaring that he no longer posed a threat to Liberia’s security due to the vested interest he has in the country.

Mr. Urey, a former Commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs (BMA), which is now being referred to as Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), says contrary to what President Weah has said, he has been cleared of all wrongdoings and never stole a penny during his time at the Maritime Bureau. Mr. Urey has also pledged his support for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia.

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