Liberia: Sulunteh Drops Senate Ambition?
Gbarnga, Bong County – Jeremiah Sulunteh, who mounted a dogged senatorial ambition in Bong County raising alarm about how the current leaders of the county have not done much for residents over the years, has reportedly dropped out of the Senate race after failing to contest on the ticket of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
FrontPageAfrica has gathered that Sulunteh, who recently resigned from the Alternative National Congress of Alexander Cummings, has been reportedly offered a job by the George Weah government to abandon his ambition to support the Coalition for Democratic Change candidate in Bong County, Henry Yallah.
Sulunteh couldn’t confirm or deny the rumors when FrontPageAfrica contacted him on Monday. “I can’t say anything about that. People will see in the coming days what happens next,” he said.
But one source close to Sulunteh confirmed the rumors to FrontPage Africa Thursday, saying: “It’s true that Sulunteh won’t be contesting the election because he has told by the government to drop his ambition to support the Coalition for Democratic Change candidate in the race Henry Yallah for a job in exchange,” the source said.
Another source told FrontPage Africa that the electoral obstacles that were before Sulunteh were insurmountable. “The outlook of the Senate race is very complicated. This is the time for smart politician to think twice in the context of the county’s overall interest,” the source said.
Sulunteh entered the race in January with a vow that if he were elected senator of Bong County, he would unite the Bong caucus, which he said had not done much to attract the dividends of democracy to residents of the county due to entrenched division among caucus members of the county. “I, Jeremiah Sulunteh, if elected senator in December my first priority would be uniting the Bong Legislative Caucus that has been fragmented due to entrenched division among leaders of the caucus. I would play that leadership role by bringing everyone together so that we could work in the overall interest of the county,” Sulunteh said of his bid during an appearance on Radio Gbarnga, a local radio station in Bong County, in June.
Sulunteh’s Senate ambition has sparked widespread excitement across various districts in the county, with various interest groups urging him to contest the election December 8 senatorial election. The groups expressed the belief that his political and administrative experience would savage the county from its current challenges.
A History of abandoning Aambitions
This is not the first time Sulunteh has shelved his ambition to contest for the Senate in the county. In 2011, he dropped his ambition “for the sake of Unity Party” at the expense of former Bong County superintendent Ranney Jackson, who would go on to lose to Senator Henry Yallah. Sulunteh’s decision was reportedly predicated following a two-hour meeting with former Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Three years later, Sulunteh dashed the hopes of his supporters who had petitioned him to contest the election in 2014 against the then incumbent senator and now vice president, Jewel Howard-Taylor. Sulunteh, who was serving as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United of America, said he was contemplating on completing his tenure.
In 2018 when the vacancy was created for the position of the Senate in the county following the ascendency of former Bong County senator and now vice president Jewel Howard-Taylor, it was hoped that Sulunteh would have contested the by-election in the county having supported the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) during the runoff presidential elections.
Sulunteh’s ambition for the Senate was left dead upon arrival after the CDC endorsed Representative Marvin Josiah Cole for the Senate. The vice president couldn’t mince her words about the party’s decision to snub Sulunteh at the expense of Cole. “Sulunteh is a “snake” whose loyalty to the CDC couldn’t be trusted despite his support to the party during the 2017 presidential elections,” the vice president said during a political rally in Gbarnga to unveil Cole as the CDC candidate.
Two days later, Sulunteh abandoned his ambition, citing betrayal by the CDC.