Samukai Withdraws Support From UP Choice For Senator In Lofa County

MONROVIA-Brownie Jeffery Samukai, former Defense Minister and senior member of the Unity Party has expressed his strong opposition to incumbent Senator Stephen Zargo’s acceptance to run on the Unity Party ticket in Lofa County.

Samukai used an analogy to describe Zargo’s candidacy as a political accommodation and vowed to campaign against this decision. He is determined to ensure that former Lofa County superintendent Galakpai Worzi Kortamai runs as an independent senatorial candidate.

Recently, the Nyonblee Kanagar-Lawrence faction of the disputed Liberty Party joined forces with the Unity Party and nominated Senator Stephen Zargo as an unchallenged candidate for re-election in Lofa.

Despite disagreement among Brownie Samukai and other Unity Party members in Lofa County, they expressed their intention to support Galakpai Kortamai as an independent candidate. They believe that Zargo lacks the capacity to win the election and that Samukai cannot assist him in rectifying the political mistakes he made during his nine years as a Senator.

During the Lofa County senatorial by-elections in 2022, Galakpai Kortamai, who was then the former chairman of the Unity Party, ran on the UP’s ticket and secured second place with 21,229 votes, representing 35.15% of the total votes.

Joseph K. Jallah, who was supported by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), emerged as the winner with 22,019 votes, or 36.49% of the votes. In 2014, after leaving the Unity Party, Galakpai Kortamai joined the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and ran against Francis Carbah of the UP.

However, Kortamai finished sixth among nine candidates with 3,570 votes, or 7.3% of the votes, while Stephen Zargo of the Liberty Party emerged victorious with 12,797 votes, or 26.2% of the votes. If Kortamai were to leave the Unity Party to run as an independent senatorial candidate in the upcoming October 10, 2023 elections, it would mark his second resignation from the Unity Party and opposition to the party’s decision.

Senator Stephen Zargo expressed his shock and disappointment over Galakpai Kortamai’s decision to run for election after being nominated unopposed by the Unity Party in Lofa County. He highlighted his continued support for the Unity Party, particularly during Convicted Brownie Samukai’s 2020 and 2022 elections. Senator Zargo stated that he has been a staunch supporter of both Unity Party leaders, and their decision to oppose him suggests a betrayal of trust.

The disagreement over who will run on the Unity Party’s partnership ticket extends beyond Zargo and Kortamai. In District #5 of Lofa County, the UP has endorsed Augustine B. Cheawolo as its candidate, while the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) led by Senator Jerimiah Kuong and Prince Johnson has endorsed John Lake as its candidate for Representative in the same district.

The Nyonble Kangar Lawrence group of the Liberty Party claims that they were misled by the Unity Party in Lofa, while the MDR feels that they were misled regarding the District 5 seat. These conflicting endorsements indicate that the political fight in Lofa County is far from over, as observed by many political analysts.

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