House Speaker Emerges As Joseph Boakai’s Running Mate


Monrovia – Speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Emmanuel Nuquay (District 5, Margibi County) is giving up his post as the third most powerful man in the country to adventure to be the second – running mate to Vice President Joseph Boakai who now opts to be President of Liberia.

Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]

James Emmanuel Nuquay Nuquay was named by Boakai late Monday evening at the headquarters of the Unity Party.

His nomination as vice standard bearer of the Unity Party comes as no surprise, as his name was widely speculated in the last few days before the formal unveiling.

Who Is James Emmanuel Nuquay

Born on October 24, 1968, Mr. Nuquay was elected to the House of Representative as an Independent candidate but later formed the PUP.

Prior to his elections to the National Legislature, Nuquay served as Accounts Trainee with the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC), as Accounts Clerk with the Ministry of Rural Development and also as a Rubber Broker.

He later served as an Accounts Clerk with the Ministry of Rural Development.

He also served as Quality Assurance Officer and Quality Control Supervisor with the Weala Rubber Corporation. Nuquay holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Liberia and a graduate of the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law.

Before becoming Speaker, Mr. Nuquay served on the House’s Human & Civil Rights as Co-Chairman and on the Judiciary Committee as Co-Chairman as well as the Committee on Investment & Concession and Labor.

While Mr. Nuquay is expected to bring a sizeable number of votes from Margibi County, which recently surpassed Grand Bassa into fifth with 144,604 as the county with the most number of registered voters, according to the National Elections Commission, he comes with some baggage.

Montserrado County has the highest number of registered voters with some 733, 312, Nimba County is next in line with 257,780 followed by Bong with the third highest number of registered voters with 195, 407; Lofa County with 149, 902 is fourth and Grand Bassa with 139,833 is sixth.

In the 2005 elections, 1,012,673 registered voters cast their votes. While in 2011, turnout was recorded at 1,288,716.

Speaker Nuquay became Speaker of the House of Representative in September of 2016 replacing former Speaker Alex Tyler who was ousted by his colleagues after being indicted for corruption-related crimes linked to the Sable Mining bribery saga.

Mr. Nuquay won the speakership unopposed. He has served as Speaker for a little over nine months now.

Prior to his nomination, names such as former Senate Pro-Tempore Gbezohngar Findley (Grand Bassa County), Dr. Henquie  Tokpah (Bong County), Martenonkay Tingban, (Nimba County) and Jim Tornorlah (Margibi County) amongst others were all tipped to be running mate to the Vice President Boakai.

At the party’s headquarters, the Unity Party Standard Bearer said it took months of broad consultation, thorough evaluation and consideration, deep reflection, power and faith to name Nuquay as his running mate. 

Ties With Lebanese Tycoon

Mr. Nuquay reportedly has close ties to Lebanese businessman George Abi Jaoudi, owner of the controversial Farmington Hotel.”

“It was under Nuquay’s watch that the lower house recently overwhelmingly passed the bill granting the hotel a 30-year tax break.

Some lawmakers credit Mr. Nuquay as making the pitch to the President Pro Temp of the Senate in a bid to rush the bill through. The Senate is currently deliberating on the matter which is facing immense criticisms from a cross section of Liberians.

Why Boakai Chose Nuquay

Boakai: “Throughout our consultations with Liberians at home and abroad, we heard a unanimous verdict on the direction their country should take.

“This decision has required deep reflection because we wanted to be very sure that whoever emerges as Vice President or co-pilot to us in this historic election must be someone that firmly shares our vision to drive a new agenda in Liberia—one that genuinely seeks to put serious emphasis on all of our people without discrimination—in every aspect of life.

“As we look towards leading a government that reflects national balance through inclusive representation, our decision also took into consideration the demography and geography of Liberia.”

According to Boakai, over his last 40 years of public service, he has spent a  lot of his time working with the young people of this country because of his strong conviction that the future of their country lies in the hands of the youthful generation. 

Boakai believes that the YMCA, Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), the Red Cross, the Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Centers (LOIC) and many other groups expressed confidence in Nuquay’s ability to lead.

He described Nuquay as an enterprising and dynamic young man, a son of a Presbyterian Minister, a man of humble beginnings who has demonstrated dedication and leadership in advancing the national interest.

“The person we have chosen to be the running mate shares my vision to continually think Liberia, Love Liberia, and build Liberia.”

“He is someone that is ready and willing to sacrificially labor for his country. He is someone who has the humility and character that has been tried and tested.

“The person we have chosen is someone who has the fear of God coupled with the requisite skills and experience to serve the Liberian people in the honorable position of Vice President of the Republic of Liberia.”

“And we must state here, this is someone that we trust.

“Fellow partisans, supporters, and Liberians, this person is a true son of Sein Town, Dinningta Clan, Borlorla Township, Kakata Chiefdom, Margibi County. He serves as the current Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia.

“Accordingly, I have now selected my running mate in the upcoming 2017 presidential election – Attorney-at-Law, the Honorable James Emmanuel Nuquay.”

“I am convinced that Honorable Nuquay, a consensus builder and someone who has led from the center, will help drive our vision for this country.”

Promises To Be Loyal

In response to his selection, Nuquay began by proving Biblical reference to show how thankful he was and described preferment as a huge moment and huge transition for him.

Speaker Nuquay said: “My family and I are humbled by this decision. I am quite aware that it took many considerations before you could arrive at this decision in a country of over 4 million people; that your search for a running mate landed at my door steps and for the time my family and I will be on earth we will be a loyal supporter to you.

“At this point, I am aware that not only Liberia or Liberians but the world is watching to see what a Kpelleh man, 48 years of age, brings to the table but through prayers, I am convinced that our quality and dedication will show through.”

Speaker Nuquay did not fall short of recognizing the role play by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for what he said is her astute leadership of the country that has laid a platform for many young people to shine.

He also recognized the effort made by the people of his district for the opportunity to serve as their lawmaker since 2005.