President Reaffirms Support to VP Boakai, Dismissing Rumors

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Executive Mansion has reaffirmed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s supports to the candidacy of Vice President Joseph Boakai in the October elections.

Speaking Monday during a telephone conversation on ELBC Radio, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah said the president has not changed on her earlier declaration of support to Boakai as her successor.

Over the weekend, rumors spread suggesting that Sirleaf would declare support for the Coalition for Democratic Change’s George Weah.

Piah dismissed those claims as contrary to the reality.

“Whatever the reasons are for those who are engaged in these activities are questions for them to answer,” he said.

Among the rumors was also that the son of the president, Robert Sirleaf, has crossed over to the CDC, ahead of his mother.

But even CDC members denied the claim. Speaking during a Truth FM radio show on Monday, Montserrado’s eighth district representative, Acarous Gray, who is also an executive member of the CDC, denounced any expressed intention by the president or her son to support the party.

He said although the party would welcome any individual supporting Weah’s presidency, no such intent from both either Sirleaf or her son was known.

“The CDC has had no intention to witch hunt anybody,” he said. “Ambassador Weah is the father of reconciliation, whether you like it or not.”

He said CDC would welcome even Vice President Boakai, who is the standard bearer of the ruling party, to join its membership or campaign for Weah’s presidency.

According to him President Sirleaf, her sons and her ministers in government are not enemies to the party.

Prior to the latest development, earlier rumors had suggested that the president would lend her support to Liberty Party. The accusation became even more prominent when the party’s former chairman, Fonati Koffa, was appointed as head of the Presidential Taskforce and minister of state without portfolio.

The surge of unproven rumors, often then rebroadcasted by news outlets, is not unlike the fake news phenomenon seen in the U.S. during its recent elections. The same is also now occurring in Kenya as it also prepares for its election.

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is currently a senior student at the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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