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Twelve Liberian Political Parties Join Forces

  • James Butty

FILE - Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf attends the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Kenya's capital Nairobi, Aug. 27, 2016.

FILE - Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf attends the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Kenya's capital Nairobi, Aug. 27, 2016.

A dozen political parties in Liberia are joining forces to take on the ruling Liberty Party in the 2017 presidential election, Senator Prince Johnson told VOA Daybreak Africa.

“We want continue our peace that we celebrated some time ago. We do not want to see violence. So we all met to discuss the issue how to collaborate and move our country forward.

A technical team or committee was set up by the convention to draw up the modalities for the collaboration,” Johnson said.

The Constitution bars President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from seeking a third term, but her vice president — Joseph Boakai — is expected to run.

FILE - Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (seated R) and Liberian Vice President Joseph N. Boakai (L) attend Sirleaf's second presidential inauguration at the Capitol in Monrovia, Jan. 16, 2012.

FILE - Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (seated R) and Liberian Vice President Joseph N. Boakai (L) attend Sirleaf's second presidential inauguration at the Capitol in Monrovia, Jan. 16, 2012.

It is not clear who this new opposition coalition would put forward for president. So far, the signatories of the deal have agreed to not “badmouth each other,” Johnson said. More details on how the coalition will work are expected in sixty days.

Other leading members include politician Charles Brumskine, Senator George Weah and businessmen Benoni Urey and Alexander Cummings.
Johnson said Sirleaf's government has not done enough to fight corruption.

“Vice President Boakai is part and parcel of the regime that has the corruption…so when Madame Sirleaf is going, he has to go. If he remains, we will vote him out,” Johnson said.

Addressing lawmakers last year, President Sirleaf said the government has made progress, including creating several anti-grant agencies. She called for “speedier trials” from the judiciary.

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