Monrovia – An opposition Political Party, Liberia National Union (LINU) has pulled out of ongoing coalition talks with Senator Prince Johnson of Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction and business tycoon Benoni Urey’s All Liberian Party.
Report by Edwin G. Genoway, Jr- [email protected]
Senator Johnson in 2011 was being described as the kingmaker who came third in the presidential election when he first headed the de-certificated National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP).
Since the 2011 elections, politicians in Liberia have wanted to form a merger or coalition with Senator Johnson due to the richness in votes in Nimba.
Recently, the All Liberian Party (ALP) of businessman Benoni Urey, Liberia National Union (LINU) of Nathaniel Blama and the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) of Senator Prince Johnson enter into a coalition talks for the upcoming election in October this year.
The talks among the three political parties have not ended and LINU has with immediate effect pulled out of coalition talks.
Addressing a news conference at the party headquarters in Monrovia, LINU political leader, Nathaniel Blama, said the deal could no longer hold on grounds that the ALP and the MDR are not determined enough to form a coalition for the elections.
He explained that one of the cardinal reasons for his party pulling out is based on ‘betrayal of confidence’ displayed by Senator Prince Johnson, lamenting that while negotiations were ongoing as it relates to the technical workings of the coalition, Senator Johnson was crying for standard bearer post, while the technical team had not reached any conclusion on who to head the coalition.
“The technical working committee had not concluded its work and Senator Johnson was crying to be standard bearer, that alone undermined the workings of the technical committee,” he noted.
Mr. Blama said it was unfortunate for Senator Johnson, who many think has numerical strength, to cry wolf while serious discussions were ongoing, noting that it created the corridor for lack of trust and confidence in the process.
Mr. Blama continued that due to the ‘unnecessary noise’ by the Nimba County strongman, all stakeholders in the process took their respective backseats, creating room for delay and breach of confidence among members of the proposed coalition.
He cites another reason for pulling out as the timetable set by the National Elections Commission for the formation of coalition, which is running out and that the interest of his party is at stake, if LINU were to continue with the process of forming a coalition.
According to him, LINU may not field a presidential candidate in pending elections, but its prime target is the House of Representatives.
“We’re considering of capturing more seats in the House of Representatives. For the Presidency, it is not yet known until our convention can be held, because any of our partisans may express desire for the presidency,” he said.
The LINU political leader noted that Senator Johnson is afraid of political competition, something that led to the senator’s action not to work with any political party.
He observed that Senator Johnson had contested in two elections as an independent candidate but not as head for a political institution.
“He was defeated during the Unity Party convention for the senatorial slot, he ran from there and contested as independent candidate, prior to the 2014 Special Senatorial election.
Mr. Johnson’s own National Union for Democratic Progress booted him for lack of confidence.
He again contested as an independent candidate. These indicators point to the fact that Johnson is not strong with political party competition.”
Mr. Blama noted that LINU remains committed to future political negotiation with political parties or politicians that have similar platforms to LINU’s.