Cracks Emerge in Unity Party

The number of Unity Party members endorsing President Weah, and presidential hopeful Alexander Cummings – over Joseph Boakai– is starting to get embarrassing. In yet another blow to Boakai, former UP lawmaker from Nimba County, Worlea-Saywah Dunah, announced that he doesn’t prefer his own party’s choice for president. Dunah maintained that Weah and the CDC-led government is better than Boakai, despite risking consequences for violating his party’s constitution.

For over a year there have been rumors of infighting amongst UP members over the decisions Boakai has been making, as they defend his mental and physical health, accusations of corruption, and tone-deaf policies. So it comes as no surprise that party members have finally had enough, opting to endorse other candidates. 

In January, the group, “Disenchanted Unity Party Partisans for President Weah Re-election” publicly blamed Boakai for squandering opportunities including ignoring the wellbeing of partisans, and supporting “militants to carry out violence and insult government officials.”

In short, corruption. And the allegations keep coming. 

Last week, Boakai was summoned to court over the illegal co-ownership and unauthorized sale of land. The owner of land asserts that Boakai’s name is mistakenly on the deed after Boakai helped him obtain the property, and that when he alerted Boakai to the issue, he was assured it was an error. But Boakai has since refused to transfer the deed,  allegedly making money from selling land on the property. 

It’s hard to imagine someone with integrity not correcting the issue immediately, but this is the kind of behavior Liberians have come to expect from Boakai. 

Although he often touts his “integrity” when comparing himself to others in office, the reality is that he is cut from the same cloth. Remember when he was presiding over the Senate, and the Moore Stephens audit revealed that 95% of the concession agreements signed into law were illegal? Where was his integrity then? Or does corruption only exist when he is attacking the CDC, or siccing his dogs on the Collaborating Political Parties? 

It’s honestly no wonder Boakai and the UP have failed to attract a vice presidential running mate (who wants all that drama?); and that voters are running away from candidates that will only bring more strife to their struggle.

Unfortunately, Boakai and the Unity Party are consistently out of touch with policies that address the issues Liberians are facing. In fact, beyond saying they want to improve the economy or education– two of the biggest issues–Liberians have yet to see any real strategy around how they intend to do this. Rather, it seems the game Boakai and the UP are playing is the waiting game– banking on Weah losing votes because the economy is struggling to recover as it comes out of the pandemic. 

In some ways, they’ve half-heartedly attempted to capture the youth vote. But even that approach is less calculated and more wait-and-see. You know, exactly what you want from a leader. Cue the eye rolls.

A prime example of this is the rumor about Henry Costa as a potential running mate for Boakai. In what seems to be a desperate attempt to prey on the appeal of his age and inflate his ego, Costa has been fanning these rumors, and the UP is letting him, hoping it will somehow attract voters. But what UP fails to understand is that while young people want younger candidates, they won’t just vote for any unqualified bottomfeeder. Costa barely has a grip on the issues facing young people living in Liberia as a man who has been living in the United States for several years now. 

Additionally, everyone knows the UP and Boakai have no real intention selecting Costa, as it was recently confirmed the candidate will come from Nimba County.

Simply, Liberians are not falling for the ruse anymore— people are not as gullible as the UP offensively assumes. The youth are not gullible (which is why they endorse Cummings). Women’s groups are not gullible (which is why they endorse Cummings, also). And party insiders aren’t gullible (see: George Wisner). 

And so the UP will fail to get Boakai elected. He just doesn’t represent Liberians any longer.