A letter purported to confirm the illness of Liberia’s incumbent Vice President and Presidential candidate of the ruling Unity Party Joseph Boakai is circulating even as Liberians are voting for a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
West African Times is in possession of a copy of the purported letter written on the letterhead of the ruling party and signed by the party’s National Chairman Wilmot Paye and entitled: A Statement to the Liberian Public on the Health Condition of His Excellency Vice President Joseph N. Boakai
The purported letter cited international news reports of the illness of the Vice President and a news conference by the party’s campaign spokesperson Mo Ali who has denied the condition of Vice President Boakai.
According to the purported letter authored by Chairman Paye, “…The news reported by the international news agencies this morning is accurate in that H.E. Vice President Joseph N. Boakai was recently diagnosed with an early stage of cancer. However, the treatment should be fully completed within six month and H.E. Joseph Boakai will be back to full health at that time. If so elected, Hon James Emmanuel Nuquay will carry out his constitutional duties as as Acting President of Liberia and also appoint a person of his choosing his Acting Vice President (not necessarily Mr. Varney Sherman as the new agencies reported.), while His Excellency Joseph Boakai undergoes treatment and recovery.” the purported letter said.
The purported letter dated October 9th, ended by condemning what is referred to as the “..the actions of opposition politicians that have sought to use this for political advantage over the last 24 hours.”
West African Times attempted to contact the Unity Party (UP) to ascertain the veracity of the letter and was told by a party representative at a polling station that the letter is simply not true and referred our Monrovia correspondent to the party headquarters for an official response later.
West African Times cannot independently verify the authenticity of the letter.
There have been rumors of the illness of Vice President Boakai. None of the candidates have released medical reports.
Meantime, Liberians have been filing into polling stations around the country to cast their ballots. In some precincts in political sub-divisions of Grand Bassa, Nimba and Montserrado Counties, there are reports of a slow start as poll workers try to straighten out minor logistical and organizational issues.
Voters have been patiently waiting in long lines. Official announcement of the elections results is expected to me bade by the National Elections Commission on October 25th.
Political observers predict a run-off since no one party stands to gain an outright majority.
By James Paye in Monrovia, Liberia
West African Times