-For Senatorial Race
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
Information gathered by this paper has it that opposition Unity Party (UP) has selected defeated Montserrado County district#1 Representative, Josephine Francis to represent the party in the upcoming senatorial by-elections.
Fmr. Montserrado Dist#1 Rep. Josephine Francis
The former lawmaker was selected through a vetting process by an ad-hoc committee setup by the party headed by Nimba County Representative Larry Younquoi.
The race to contest on the party’s ticket in the impending senatorial elections was between current Montserrado County dictrict#3 Representative, Ceebee Barshell and defeated Montserrado County district #1 lawmaker, Josephine Francis.
When contacted Representative Younquoi via mobile phone, he told this paper that he has already submitted his report to the National Executive Committee of the Unity party (UP) and as such, he could not speak on the matter.
However, some disenchanted partisans, particularly of the youth league under the banner ‘Strong Partisans Movement of the Unity Party’ has expressed serious disenchantment in the selection of Madam Francis over Representative Barshell, saying the defeated lawmaker lacks the ability, strength to win the Montserrado seat.
The group in a strong worded statement signed by its secretary, Evans Tuku described the decision by the committee as weak and one that has been allegedly influenced by either cash or some close kind of connection between Madam Francis and members of the committee including its chairman.
“We don’t agree with this decision taken by this committee to select a Josephine Francis over Representative Barshell who has recently defeated a CDC lawmaker in the just ended October 10, 2017 Presidential and Representative elections and we think this decision needs to be reconsidered to avoid future embarrassment for our party,” the group stressed.
The statement quotes the group as saying they do not believe defeated Representative Francis can even come close to winning the seat looking at her recent performance in a district election, least to talk about an entire county like Montserrado with so much population.
The group indicated that there are no tangibles the defeated lawmaker can point to while serving at the level of a district; something they think renders her irrelevance to the impending Senatorial race.
Meanwhile, the group is calling on the party to revert said alleged decision taken by the committee, thus, failure on the party of the part to revert said decision would lead them to petitioning Representative Barshell to contest as independent candidate in the upcoming by-elections.
Currently, there exist two vacancies within the Liberian Senate, Montserrado and Bong Counties as a result of the election of both President George Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor respectively.
Since their election to the two highest positions in the country, there have been vacancies within the Liberian Senate and said vacancies can only be filled through a by-election soon to take place in the two counties.
All efforts made to contact the Unity Party National Chairman, Wilmot Paye, did not materialize, as his mobile phone was perpetually switch off up to press time.