President Sirleaf administers oath to new UP Standard Bearer
Pres. Sirleaf Inducts Boakai As UP Standard Bearer
By Philip T. Singbah, LINA Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, July 10 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has inducted Vice President Joseph Boakai as the new Standard Bearer of the ruling Unity Party (UP).
President Sirleaf performed the brief historical ceremony Friday evening before thousands of UP partisans, sympathizers and well-wishers attending the party’s national convention in the provincial city of Gbarnga, Bong County.
VP Boakai was elected on a white ballot.
She noted that Vice President Boakai brings to the UP standard bearer position a wealth of experience that would transform the party and unite all its partisans in promoting its principles of working with all Liberians to further the current democratic path on which the nation continues to progress.
President Sirleaf said despite the challenges that have existed in the Unity Party, she was glad that the party remains a trusted and responsible political institution that continues to drive the nation to its destiny that many of its citizens are proud of today.
"There will be difficult times in keeping our party’s dreams alive but I admonish you Mr. Vice President that with all of us support and constructive engagement the Unity Party will be the torch bearer of our democracy," President Sirleaf noted.
She reaffirmed her commitment to the presidential ambition of Vice President Boakai, adding that she will do all she can to ensure that he is elected come 2017.
President Sirleaf told jubilant UP partisans, sympathizers and well-wishers in the Gbarnga administrative building hall that she gives her “unflinching” support to the Vice President because she wants the party to become the bridge of continuity, unity and development in Liberian history.
The Liberian leader informed the gathering that the Unity Party-led government has over the last ten years implemented substantial developments that have impacted the lives of every resident across Liberia.
The President cautioned UP partisans not to take anything for granted, advising them to make alliances with other political parties if the Unity Party is to win the pending presidential elections.
The outgoing Standard Bearer of the UP admonished party members to strategize new plans for the party’s survival, one that is different from those of the other political parties, even if the party is not in power.
President Sirleaf informed the conventioneers to be committed to their collective gains, which would secure a comfortable seat for the Vice President ahead of the 2017 elections, and to warn other parties that the Unity Party is for development.
On democracy in Liberia, President Sirleaf said the Unity Party, Liberia Unification Party and the Liberia Action Party played a leading role in restoring democracy to the country.
The Liberian Chief Executive said these three political parties challenged the military regime at the time – a first for Liberia – and paved the way for multi-party democracy in Liberia.
She challenged partisans to use the convention to unite with partisans “who one way or the other felt cheated or hurt,” to reconcile and concentrate on the crucial 2017 elections.
It can be recalled that the outgoing chairman of the Unity Party, Senator Varney G. Sherman, at the start of the convention also pledged his support and loyalty to the presidential quest of Vice President Boakai who, he said, is the ideal candidate to lead the country in the right direction.
Sherman said he will join the campaign come 2017 and go to every nook and cranny of the country to canvass for the election of Boakai as president.
He described VP Boakai as one with a humble beginning and also level-headed, having the characteristics to revive the hope and aspiration of the UP faithful, who see Boakai as their only hope for redemption both for the party and the country.
He said if the partisans want Boakai to be a successful standard bearer, they should elect the right people.
“Boakai needs a leadership that will work with him to ensure that he becomes successful, and not one that will be suspicious of his presence,” he said, stressing, “He needs a leadership that he trusts and that also trusts him.”