Liberia: Gongloe Condemns Boakai’s ‘Misrepresentation’ of Vice Presidency

.. Says Boakai was wrong to refer to himself as “a parked car”

In a scathing critique, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, the Presidential candidate of the Liberian People’s Party, has chided Joseph Boakai for suggesting he was merely a “parked racing car” during his 12-year tenure as the principal deputy to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

According to Gongloe, Boakai’s claim was misleading and “amounts to an evasion of responsibility for his role in government,” despite “being bankrolled” by taxpayer funds.

“Was he implying that the Office of the Vice President does not have tasks assigned to that office by our constitution? You can’t pocket millions of taxpayers’ money and then tell us that you were a racing car that was parked,” Gongloe said in an address on the campaign trail in Bong County.

“This is a deception by Ambassador Boakai who earned millions of dollars during the 12-year regime of the UP to make an infamous statement equating himself to a racing car parked in a garage,” he added.

Gongloe then invoked Article 51 of the Liberian Constitution, which defines the role of the Vice President as an essential component of the government. The article states that the Vice President shall “assist the President in the discharge of his functions” and outlines various responsibilities, including presiding over the Senate and attending cabinet meetings.

For Gongloe, Boakai’s statement in 2017 trivialized the constitutional duties of the Vice President’s office and suggested that the “constitutional responsibilities” have no significance. He argued that Boakai, as a senior figure within the administration, shared responsibility for the administration’s performance and could not shy away from its failure by claiming to be a “parked racecar.”

“Boakai contributed to the underdevelopment of Liberia, so why should he be given another chance to lead this country? We all know that he is not the right leader to take this country forward.

“[He] cannot be the answer to our problems if the country must experience more developments,” Gongloe told a cheering group of voters. “The way he and his Unity Party people treated this country is nothing short of evil.”

In 2017, Boakai while being questioned about his ability to lead Liberia effectively, asserted that the Unity Party government at the time had “squandered opportunities.”

According to Boakai, he wouldn’t achieve much since he lacked the power to bring about substantial change, which prompted his analogy of a race car parked in a garage.

The former Vice President has since defended his position as he asked Liberian voters for the opportunity to “lead differently.” But for Gongloe, the former Vice President cannot bring about any real change as the Unity Party, which he leads, had a record of mismanagement of public funds among other poor governance practices.

“The Unity Party with Boakai as one of the senior supervisors, performed dismally in 12 years and as such Liberians should eject him at the polls come October 10,” Gongloe said in a plea to Liberian voters.

It, however, remains unclear whether Gongloe’s appeal will be adhered to as Boakai remains the country’s most popular opposition politician and the main opponent to Weah. Both men are most likely to face off in a second-round vote for the presidency.

Meanwhile, Gongloe has expressed surprise that the former Vice President, after enjoying significant financial support from the national budget during his tenure, would claim to be living off loans.

Source: Daily Observer