‘I Never Declared Running 2017’…Liberian Ambassador To US Clarifies

The Liberian Ambassador to the United States of America, Jeremiah Sulunteh, has clarified that his operations presently is not to canvas for the presidential bid in 2017 elections even though he sounded optimistic about being a political factor in those elections.

Refuting the Frontpage Newspaper’s articles on his alleged recent pronouncement of his political consideration in contesting for the presidency in 2017 elections where he is quoted as saying, “Bong County has long been a backbencher in Liberian politics and that it was time to utilize the numerical strength as one of the most populated counties,” Amb. Sulunteh said resolutely that he does not believe in tribalism.

Speaking to scores of reporters at his Paynesville residence yesterday, Ambassador Sulunteh began by first clarifying that at no time had he granted a Frontpage Newspaper reporter, Selma Lomax, an exclusive interview during his current vacation in the country or his assessment tour in Bong County.

He explained that he does not believe in ethnicity and has never been an extremist in his political sojourn evidenced by his partnership with Cllr. Winston Tubman in 2005 as vice presidential candidate on the ticket of the National Democratic Party of Liberia and later his support for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2011.

Amb. Sulunteh said his support to the ruling party for President Sirleaf’s second term bid was not because she is a female, her educational background or favoritism based on the ‘Congo Vs indigenous’ characteristics but that the platform of the Unity Party set a better agenda for Liberia at the time.

He said he is not a member of the People’s Unification Party (PUP) as insinuated by the paper’s reportage that he is constrained to provide clarity on noting that he occupies the position of a senior vice chairperson in the ruling party and as part of his vacation, he is currently conducting assessment on behalf of the UP across the country.

The Liberia ambassador to the USA further clarified that while in Bong County, it was during a talk show on Radio Gbarnga, in Bong County in which he mentioned that all Liberians will be a factor in 2017 and he, being a Liberian, will be part of that factor and at no time he made known his intentions of becoming a presidential candidate in 2017.

“If and when that becomes a decision, I will declare appropriately; until that time I have had no declaration either in secret places or in the public, otherwise you would have been informed appropriately; again, I have not declared to become a presidential candidate in 2017 and, if and when that becomes a decision I will inform you appropriately,” these words carried the brunt of Ambassador Sulunteh’s press conference.

The Frontpage Newspaper buttressed its previous publication when it published another article in yesterday’s edition in which it stated that Amb. Sulunteh told his kinsmen that some politicians will come and pretend to be natives of the county but cautioned them not to listen to them.

The paper further stated that Amb. Sulunteh has left his options opened because he is uncertain about his chances of becoming a presidential candidate in his ruling UP with the likes of Vice President Joseph Boakai and additionally might be envisaging a political marriage with the PUP because it carries similar political message trumpeted by Sulunteh on endorsing a call for a native president based on tribal sentiments.

The paper at the same time compares Sulunteh’s ambition with that of his predecessor former Ambassador Nathaniel Barnes who in 2011 declared his intention to contest the presidency thereby considering his leadership as the ‘new breed’ but his ambition crushed his career in the Ellen-led government because his boss, President Sirleaf, was also fostering her political ambition to contest for a second term at that time.

Amb. Sulunteh however maintained that who becomes a presidential candidate should be left to the politicians to decide and not for a person to insinuate because the 2017 election is a flood gate and that he could have admirers who he cannot stop from favoring him.