New York — International businessman William Tuider plans to announce what has been unclear to much of Liberia since the end of the last presidential election: He is running for president in 2023. A similar declaration is expected shortly from other groups of Liberian business leaders and politicians, including former Liberian Ambassador to the United States and Canada Nathaniel Barnes, followed, in all probability, by businessman Simeon Freeman; philanthropist, women and children rights advocate MacDella Cooper, renowned Liberian civil and human rights lawyer Tiawon Gongloe, philanthropist Daniel Cassell, former Coca Cola executive Alexander B. Cummings and former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.
Tuider stated that his main goals are eliminating mass poverty, fighting entrenched corruption and social opulence at the expense of the Liberian people, providing universal health care and meaningful education opportunities, increasing foreign investments, supporting Liberian businesses, reducing tariffs, and ensuring national security.
For all the actual coordinated hoopla about to be piled on Liberian voters and groups over the next few months leading to 2023, presidential announcements will become, more often than not, vestigial remnants of the way presidential politics were once conducted (or at least the way they are remembered) by Liberians.
Unlike Tuider, who is laying down his ideological marker about his priorities for deciding to run for president, many past and current Liberian presidential candidates do not discuss what they will do as president. Instead, announcements are more of a pro forma exercise of the obvious.
As of now, about a half-dozen candidates in and out of Liberia have formed presidential exploratory committees, a step that would allow them to raise funds as they take surveys about a race. But, in this crowded potential presidential field, few candidates can afford to wait and risk watching a rival pick off big-name elected officials, campaign consultants, and contributors.