Emeritus World Footballer of the Year George Weah may as well start calling himself a member of the Senate of the Republic of Liberia even though the date of the senatorial election that may elect him is still a matter of dispute.
While the Senate insists that the date should be December 30, 2014 and the House of Representatives prefers it two weeks earlier, 14 out of the 17 members of the House Reps from Weah’s Montserrado County have endorsed him as their Senator-to-be.
And the support is not being offered as through a la ‘read my lips’ but through a written statement signed by all the 14 Lawmakers from Montserrado County.
Additionally the rival Unity Party Montserrado County Caucus chair, Representative Bill Twehway, who witnessed the statement signing, vowed to ensure that other candidates from the opposition bloc, including his own party do not receive close to a thousand votes in districts making up the county.
Representative Twehway promised that he and his colleagues from the Unity Party would forge a strong collaboration with Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change to ensure that Weah obtained 90% of the total votes cast in Montserrado and warned other contesting candidates to follow the example of the UP candidate Mr. Ali Sylla, who has withdrawn from the process.
Said Twehway: “We promise that if any candidate wins more than one thousand votes in our districts that person wins the election so if you know what I know pack your things and behave like Sylla and say you are sick because with 14 of us Lawmakers supporting a candidate, it sends a message that the election is over. Ambassador Weah, we are prepared to work with you to go into all the communities of this county to campaign for you”.
The UP lawmaker was joined by his fellow partisan, Representative Henry Fahnbulleh who once served the Unity Party as Secretary General, a ranking member of the Party and Gabriel Nyenkan who recently resigned from the party.
Thursday’s regular session at the House of Representatives was overshadowed by an elaborate event of signing a petition to support the Congress for Democratic Change political leader in the ensuing special midterm Senatorial elections in Montserrado County.
Presenting the statement of support to Weah, Representative Edwin Snowe (INDP-District #6 Montserrado County) who received support from the UP during the 2011 presidential elections as the party did not put forth a candidate against him in his district, said, the presence of Weah in the Liberian Senate would further strengthen the capacity of the Senate to deliver to the Liberian people.
The Lawmakers in their petition stated amongst several things they were cognizant of their roles as national leaders in the Legislature to provide national and community leadership to the citizens of Liberia and that said role can only be played by people of selfless, caring, and honest characters who put the interest of the people above all else.
Representative Snowe said: “Acknowledging that the reinforcement in the ranks of the legislature with persons who have demonstrated love of country and fellow men will enable the legislature to further provide quality leadership to the people thereby justifying its trust”.
The Lawmakers further recognized the roles played by Ambassador Weah as Goodwill Ambassador and the numerous contributions he made nationally and internationally by bringing respect, honor and recognition to Liberia.
“We now hereby resolve to endorse the candidacy of Ambassador George Weah as Senator of Montserrado County and call on all citizens of Montserrado County to rally support for his overwhelming election as Senator”, a portion of the statement of support signed by the Lawmakers indicated.
The lawmakers also stated that the previous position held by Weah as peace ambassador in Liberia affirms their confidence in him to provide quality leadership to the people of Montserrado County in the Liberian Senate.
Lawmakers who signed the petition included; Bill Twehway (UP), Thomas Fallah (CDC), Edwin Snowe (INDP), Solomon George (CDC), Acarous Gray (CDC), Munah Youngblood (CDC), Julius Berrian (CDC), Saah Joseph (CDC), Gabriel Nyenkan (formerly of the UP) Abraham Corneh (INDP), Adolph Lawrence (INDP), Edward Forh (CDC), William Dakel (NDC) and Henry Fahnbulleh (UP).
Receiving the statement of support Candidate Weah started his response by apologizing to his those who may have been affected by decisions taken by the party, noting that all decisions taken in the past were in the interest of the party, saying he has no malice against anyone.
Weah also believed that the expression of support for his Senatorial bid in Montserrado County demonstrated the importance of consensus building in legislative politics and paid specific recognition to members of the ruling Unity Party and other independent candidates who had endorsed his candidacy.
“I am convinced that this endorsement will have a maximum effect on the ground which is expressed by your presence here as other partisans to endorse my candidacy and I am calling on you to make yourself visible during the campaign period,” Weah said.
Commentators believe that the Lawmakers support for to Weah has some quid pro quo undertone among which might be the reciprocal effect come 2017, where it is believed that Weah and the CDC will not put up candidates against these Lawmakers in their respective districts during the 2017 presidential and general elections.
Most of the Lawmakers who endorsed Weah have fallen out of favour with some members of their constituencies who have openly threatened to vote them out come 2017 but some believe that with the support of Weah there could be some considerations from their electorate. According to sources, by consensus Weah and Snowe have agreed for Weah to give in to Snowe come 2017 in Montserrado and rally support for his candidacy as Senator for the county.