MONROVIA – President-elect Joseph Boakai would not be available for his certification for winning the November 14 run-off election due to his travel to the United States and his party has therefore, requested the National Elections Commission to postpone to a later date to be decided.
By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
The party disclosed this in statement released on Thursday in which it stated that it has already communicated with the National Elections Commission.
The Unity Party: “Unity Party has officially informed the National Elections Commission (NEC) that due to the visit of the President-elect to the United States of America, the issuance of certificate for the winner of the November 14, 2023 Presidential election, planned for Friday, December 8, 2023, should be postponed until the return of President-elect Joseph Nyuma Boakai. The Party will work with NEC to schedule a new date for the issuance of the certificate for the President and Vice president-elect.
The public will be informed when the new date is set.”
The certification should have happened today, December 8 as scheduled by the NEC and communicated to the winners of the October 10 election and the November 14 runoff election.
The President-elect left Liberia on December 1 for the United States. According to the Unity Party, while in the United States he would be holding consultations with stakeholders in the political process including the Unity Party in the United States and Canada to thank them for their support given him during the elections. He is also expected to visit family members in the States, the Party disclosed.
The Party’s request for a postponement has sparked inquiries into the rationale behind the President-elect’s decision to prioritize a visit to family members in the United States over attending the certification.
FrontPageAfrica gathered that Vice President-elect Jeremiah Koung is presently in Accra and has reportedly postponed his return home due to the impossibility of receiving certification in the absence of the President-elect.
The 79-year-old’s travel to the United States came amid lingering concerns of his health and a reported surgery for the replacement for his pacemaker.
In June this year, Henry Costa, a former close ally of Boakai alleged that he (Boakai) needed a surgery within six month or risked suffering a massive stroke or a heart attack. But Boakai and the Unity Party dismissed the report.
Ambassador Boakai’s health has consistently been a topic of controversy in discussions about his presidential aspirations. He has consistently asserted that he is in excellent health and fully capable of participating in the election and governing the country.
During the peak of the election campaign, Costa alleged that Boakai rejected expert medical advice recommending a triple bypass open-heart surgery. Costa claimed that intelligence suggested Boakai believed he wouldn’t survive the life-saving procedure due to an alleged plot to assassinate him during the surgery.
Costa, a prominent political talk-show host, revealed that medical examinations from ELWA Hospital and U.S. doctors indicated that Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai urgently needed a triple bypass open-heart surgery within six months. This procedure aimed to replace a weakened artery in his heart with another from his thigh.
Speaking at the All Liberian Party (ALP) headquarters in Monrovia after breaking away from Boakai, Costa disclosed that doctors from Liberia and the United States had advised the former Vice President. They warned that if he didn’t undergo the surgery within six months, his heart might cease functioning. Additionally, the doctors cautioned against unnecessary stress, which could exacerbate his condition.
Costa emphasized that, given this diagnosis from medical experts, the opposition camp, especially the Unity Party and its affiliates, was alarmed. They decided to keep such information confidential while actively working to address the former Liberian Vice President’s health situation.
However, Boakai in later interview with James Butty of the VOA, dispelled Costa’s speculation and said despite Costa’s report on his health, he continues to move around.
“Henry Costa might be a doctor of another kind who can determine the health of people. But I am moving around and who should know better about their own health than themselves? Maybe he knows more than the doctor and more than myself, but he still my son.”