LIBERIA: As Liberia heads for Run-Off Election Political “Hot Cake” Appleton set to make Critical Decision

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With all set and readying for the much-anticipated Presidential Run-Off Election between Incumbent George Manneh Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai of the Unity Party (UP), the surprised package and now “Hot Cake” of the electoral process, Edward Wade Appleton, Jr. is set to split the coin by pledging allegiance to one of the two candidates.

When the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections were far from approaching, no Liberian had imagined Mr. Appleton as a household name in the body politics of the country.

However, he later became the surprised package of the presidential race with his over 40,000 votes placing him third spot on among 20 candidates.

The top three finish of Mr. Appleton of the Grassroots Development Movement (GDM) has also placed him far beyond his equals as he is now discussing business with two of the men projected possible leader of the country.

Speaking at a news conference at the party’s Headquarters in Congo Town on the outskirt of Monrovia on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, Mr. Appleton said GDM will not be an onlooker, but will play a key role in the upcoming runoff election between Mr. Weah and Mr. Boakai.

He indicated that the party’s decision to endorse one of the candidates will be based on a clear understanding of what the Liberian people want.

“We are not going to be on lookers, but we will be full participants in this democratic dispensation of the second round.”

“The Grassroots Development Movement intends to work hard to change the paradigm, which will bring about generational change in the not-too-distant future. With the enthusiasm shown by the Liberian people in the first round in electing their leaders; it exhibits pertinently that the Liberian people believe in democracy and good governance,” he stated.

“With that being said, we the Grassroots Development Movement (GDM), and I the Standard Bearer Edward Wade Appleton, Jr. along with my Vice Standard Bearer Alex C. Gontee, and all of our officers and members commit that we stand for peace, justice, good governance, human rights and the socio-economic development of the Liberian people,” Mr. Appleton furthered, indicating that the GDM will endorse one of the two parties that shares the same vision with the Movement.

Mr. Appleton used the occasion to also trash rumors that have since circulated some quarters of the Liberian society and the media, thus mentioning that the party took on a “Jehovah Witness” form of campaign, while others were racing to fill stadiums.

“They say I am a ghost…I am not. They say our Party was setup to disrupt the electoral process; that is not true. They say we have endorsed a candidate, not true because we have not thanked the Liberian people, the grassroots yet.
They say that I, the Standard Bearer have left the country… I am here. While the supposedly big parties were looking for crowds and filling Stadiums, we were in rural Liberia talking to people one on one; we were talking and delivering our messages, which fell on good grounds.”

“We campaigned in a witness style; and although we are not in the top two (2) spots, we are in the position to play a key role in the upcoming runoff election,” the GDM standard bearer asserted.

He lauded Liberians, the international community and donor partners, who stood with Liberia all these years in the promotion of democracy.

“Also, we are asking the Liberian people for the same support shown in the first round to be shown in the second round. Most importantly, the GDM thanks the security sector for showing neutrality and for holding the peace. Finally, we will not close this press conference without thanking all the candidates and parties that participated in these elections. We will not close this press conference without acknowledging and thanking the fourth estate for a job well done in protecting the electoral process. Let’s work together in peace and unity to
move Liberia forward…. And when we do, we will joyfully sing, AlI Hail Liberia Hail, This Glorious Land of Liberty shall long be Ours.”

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