(MONROVIA, LIBERIA – October 27, 2011): President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, kicked off campaigning Thursday for the November 8 run-off election with an endorsement by the Freedom Alliance Party of Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh.
In a statement endorsing President Sirleaf, Dr. Tipoteh said his party’s decision followed observation and evaluation of the two parties in the run-off, based on the issue of societal transparency.
The FAPL Standard Bearer, and renowned Liberian politician, said their evaluation showed that the ruling Unity Party has a better record for transparency, and noted that the high level of transparency under UP’s leadership provides the opportunity for the FAPL and other parties to freely critique government’s performance.
Dr. Tipoteh stressed that the choice was made freely, as the FAPL places the highest value on freedom in the process of rebuilding Liberia.
In response, the Unity Party Standard Bearer, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said she was accepting the endorsement with pleasure and pride.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Johnson said the endorsement was a sign that the Unity Party has reached a place where it can be dedicated to peace, transparency and integrity for the development of Liberia, as it comes from a person who has demonstrated integrity and consistence in principles. “Dr. Tipoteh never wavers in what he believes in. He has spoken out; he has criticized; he has praised; he has taken issues. But in all of those, it was because of the belief that he has. Very few people can show this kind of consistency over the period of forty years,” said the President, in appreciation of the work of the FAPL Standard Bearer.
Madam Johnson Sirleaf said she believes that Dr. Tipoteh and the FAPL would not have endorsed the Unity Party if they did not believe that the party shares the same ideals and can deliver. She described the endorsement as a partnership that will be carried forward with the aim of trying to unite the people, to reconcile the Liberian people in order to keep Liberia on the right course for peace and development.
The Unity Party Standard Bearer urged partisans and supporters of the Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia to reach out to their friends and associates to ensure victory in the second round and for a lasting partnership. “Our first challenge is to win the election, so we will work with you and you will work with us in that regard to bring all under this umbrella toward the achievement of that goal” the President concluded.
The endorsement ceremony took place at the FAPL headquarters in Sinkor. Endorsements of President Sirleaf and her Unity Party have also come from other parties that contested the October 11 Presidential Elections, most prominent among them being the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) party of Senator Prince Y. Johnson.
Following the program in which she received the FAPL endorsement, President Sirleaf resumed campaigning by visiting several communities in Montserrado County, interacting with residents in the run-up to the November 8 run-off election.
Visiting District No. 13, the President thanked the residents for showing up to vote in the first round and for supporting her. She encouraged them to turn out to vote in the second round, and reminded them that all votes count in ensuring a Unity Party victory. The UP Standard Bearer assured the residents that she will continue to work to improve their lives and make the country better when elected.
President Johnson Sirleaf was also expected to visit Districts 16, 14, and 12, as well as some rural communities in Montserrado County.
Editor’s Note: Cyrus Wleh Badio is press secretary to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.