Tension Brews Between UP, MDR

Sources in the former ruling Unity Party (UP) have confirmed that the Founder of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Senator Prince Johnson is not happy with the UP and its Standard-bearer, Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai for fielding candidates against the MDR in three districts in Nimba County.

According to the sources, Senator Johnson has requested that the UP withdraws its candidates against the MDR as the decision has not been well received by the Senator and supporters of the MDR.

 The preliminary listing of the National Elections Commission (NEC) reveals that the UP has put up candidates against the MDR in three of the nine districts of Nimba County. In District #3, the UP is fielding Morris Saye McGill Darbo and the MDR is fielding Nehker E. Gaye; in District #8, the UP fields Doolakeh Taryor while MDR fields Saye S. Mianah and in District #9, UP is fielding Richard Matenokay Tingban, while the MDR fields Gongbehn O. Dekpah.

Our sources further disclosed Senator Johnson has been quiet but emotional about the decision of the Unity Party to field candidates against the MDR, especially in Nimba and has requested a meeting with the UP Standard-bearer upon his return from the United States of America.

In a meeting with the Nimba County Chairpersons of both the Unity Party and the MDR, held at the Gompa City residence of the Chairman of MDR Governing Council, Senator Prince Johnson, on Saturday, July 22, 2023, the MDR Nimba Chairperson, Joseph Wongan said his party has lived up to the agreement between the two parties to not field candidates against each other in the October 10 Elections but the Unity Party has acted to the contrary in Nimba.

In a face-to-face meeting with the Senator, the Chairman of the Unity Party in Nimba, Nelson Beangar alleged that the Vice Standard-bearer of the UP, Senator Jeremiah Koung was the one who insisted that Unity Party fields candidates where it is believed their candidate has political strength over their opponents. He claimed that Senator Koung warned, “We cannot put our eggs in one basket.”

According to an eyewitness who asked for anonymity, the UP Chair told the open gathering that Senator Koung’s only condition is that the MDR and the UP candidates should support the JNB ticket.

Senator Koung is the current Political Leader of MDR but stands accused of giving financial and material support to two contenders running against Prince Johnson’s third-term bid.

There are seven Senatorial Candidates in Nimba including Roland G. Duo of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC); James D. Hallowanger of Liberian People Party (LPP); Prince Yormie Johnson of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR); Lawrenso Paye Korquoi of All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP); Armstrong Gobac Selekpoh an Independent Candidate; Wuo Garbie Sokpah, Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT); and Nya D. Twayen, Jr., Independent Candidate.

The hidden agenda behind Senator Koung’s conspiracy against Senator Johnson, it is alleged, is that he too, aspires to become the political godfather of the county.    There are obviously two open secrets in the pending senatorial election of Nimba County; if Senator Prince Johnson is reelected, he will serve for twenty-seven years, thus becoming the longest-serving Senator of Nimba and continue his political dominance in the county; however, if he is not reelected, Jeremiah Koung will eventually replace him as the political godfather of the county and begin to write a new political course for the county.

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