Liberia: Bong Rep. Kolleh Faces Tough Re-election Bid in 2023


District Two, Bong County — The 2023 general election is fast approaching. In District Two, Bong County, the election is expected to be keenly contested. The incumbent lawmaker, James Kolleh, has a big fight.

There are many odds against his re-election bid. For those who have been watching the political development of the district since the time the lawmaker assumed office to date, they may be right that Kolleh, who got elected in a by-election in 2021, has made costly political blunders.

These errors, according to political pundits, may likely haunt him and stop his re-election bid. Politically speaking, the lawmaker appears to have shot himself in the foot. His promise to donate his assigned vehicle to the district to be used as ambulance has had an impact on his reputation, with many residents describing him as “Mr Liar Man”.

Kolleh has changed his tongue, saying he would rather buy “a fairly used ambulance” than donating his assigned vehicle to the district.

Another campaign promise haunting Rep. Kolleh is his failure to make true his pledge to launch a vocational school for youths of Foloblia. The lawmaker had promised that such school would empower residents of the district to be self-employed.

His delay in launching the vocational school has put Rep. Kolleh at odds with many residents of the district, particularly the youths, who voiced their disenchantment at the lawmaker on Super Bongese, a local radio station in the county.

Worth mentioning also is the number of abandoned projects he promised to complete when elected.

Since the inception of the Rep. Kolleh’s leadership administration, besides his Saturday “Clean Gbarnga Project” the district could not boost of any completed projects.

Coming to Yaindiwon, his native clan, one can only meet a single on-going road project. The road is not completed. In fact, the construction has been at snail speed. Commuters and business people who visit the clan have lots to say.

The same experiences are all over the district. If the narrative of abandoned projects is anything to go by, Rep. Kolleh might not get enough votes from the affected towns and villages.

The outcome of the 2021 by-election has attested to the fact that the Gbanshea and Seanshue Clans are the strong holds of the opposition. This will become another albatross to the re-election effort of the lawmaker.

Many residents also expressed disenchantment at Rep. Kolleh for his alleged failure to bring back the dividends of democracy to the people of Gbanshea and Seanshue Clans.

This agitations against Rep. Kolleh in Gbanshea and Seanshue Clans could linger for a while amid a plot to field a consensus candidate against him in 2023.

One of those said to be pushing that plan is Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, whom Rep. Kolleh branded as “anti” to residents of the district for her reported failure to stall the results of the by-election by supporting Salvage to take an appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia against the result.

If such plot plays against Rep. Kolleh in 2023, political pundits are convinced that the lawmaker would fail to retain his seat, which would make him the shortest-serving lawmaker in Bong County