After losing hold of his first brainchild, the National Union for Democracy Party (NUDP), Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) has again formed another political party, the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR).This comes as the country moves toward the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections with more politicians emerging to contest the presidency and some forming new political parties. A political commentary noted that most political parties in Liberia are built around individuals who also serve as sources of funding for their operations, not as institutions.For example, Senator Johnson, a former rebel leader of the defunct Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), is among the few popular politicians with huge followings. His large following is due to his origin from voter-rich Nimba County.But Johnson, who contested the 2011 presidential elections, is currently without a political party after he was ousted from the NUDP under whose banner he contested the presidency. His kinsmen see him as a liberator voting him as senator twice, in 2005 and again in 2011. While serving as a sitting Senator, Johnson in 2011 founded the NUDP and contested the presidency, finishing an impressive third behind the Unity Party and the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).Due to the huge population of Nimba County, Senator Johnson and his NUDP became kingmaker, with both UP and CDC courting Johnson’s support.The Nimba County strongman settled for the UP of sitting President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, describing the President as “the lesser of two evils.”After Johnson gave his support to Sirleaf, serious confusion broke out in the NUDP, with members of the party’s Executive Committee accusing him of taking money from the UP in exchange for their support, which he denied. The confusion, however, led to his expulsion from the NUDP. The NUDP was later delisted by the National Elections Commission for failing to meet certain requirements. Following the collapse of the party, Senator Johnson contested the 2014 special senatorial election, which he won as an independent candidate. The lure of Nimba County’s vote-rich status continues to make Johnson a hot political figure. With the emergence of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Johnson appears to once again fortify his base in the hope that he would remain an influential figure in the political sphere.Yesterday, the Daily Observer learned that Senator Johnson is in the process of completing the formation of MDR to aid his political quest in 2017. Sources have also hinted to this newspaper that the new MDR would be in negotiations with other parties for a possible merger.Wilfred Bangura, who is expected to serve as Secretary General of the MDR, confirmed that the party is only waiting to be certified by the NEC. On the issue of the party forming a merger, Bangura said the MDR, once certified, will remain open to all well-meaning political parties and individuals that have similar goals as the MDR. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Animal Christmas story time, 10 a.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Call (661) 254-6604. Christmas Eve services with worship led by the Living Proof Choir and Steve Lively, 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday at Grace Baptist Church, 22833 Copper Hill Drive, Santa Clarita. Traditional Communion celebration at 11 p.m. Call (661) 296-8737, Ext. 142. Christmas Eve service will feature the children’s musical “Once Upon a Night” at 5:30 and 7 p.m.; the adult and youth choirs, bells, dance and candlelight at 9 p.m.; and adult choirs, communion and candlelight at 11 p.m. Saturday at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Call (661) 297-3783. Hanukkah Party Havdalah, 6 p.m. Saturday at Temple Beth Ami, 23023 Hilse Lane, Newhall. Bring a picnic lunch. Call (661) 255-6410. Hanukkah pancake breakfast will include breakfast, beverages and Hanukkah fun, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 25 at a private home in Stevenson Ranch. Cost: $15 for adults; children under 12 are free. Sponsored by Hadassah’s Kochava Group. Call Robin Bratlavsky at (661) 297-2960 or e-mail KochavaGroup@yahoo.com. Family Christmas service, 11 a.m. Dec. 25 at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Call (661) 297-3783. Hanukkah story time with songs, 7-8 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Call (661) 254-6604. Hanukkah Family Festival will feature children’s crafts, live music, entertainment, hot latkes and a raffle, 6 p.m. Dec. 28 at Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Sponsored by Chabad of SCV. Call (661) 254-3434. To submit an event for the Holiday Calendar, contact Sharon Cotal at (661) 257-5256, fax her at (661) 257-5262, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at 24800 Avenue Rockefeller, Valencia, CA 91355.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Hanukkah party, 2-4 p.m. today at Granary Square shopping center on the corner of Arroyo Park Drive and McBean Parkway, Valencia. Co-sponsored by Temple Beth Ami. Call Linda Hollingsworth at (661) 296-3408. Santa Clarita Ballet will present the “Nutcracker Ballet,” 2 and 7 p.m. today at the Vital Express Center for the Performing Arts at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia. Tickets: $22-$28 for adults and $20 for children and seniors. Call (661) 251-6844. “A Christmas Carol” will be presented, 6:30 today at the Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 San Fernando Road, Newhall. Tickets: $13-$17 for adults and $10-$13 for students and seniors. Call (661) 799-2702. Sixth annual holiday show, titled “Enjoying the Holidays,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. today at Ice Station Valencia, 27745 N. Smyth Drive, Valencia. Call (661) 775-8686 for ticket information. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Drive-Through Living Nativity will feature hundreds of costumed actors performing scenes from the birth of Christ, 7-9 p.m. today and Monday at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Call (661) 297-3783. “The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol” will be presented 2 p.m. today and 8 p.m. Friday at the Repertory East Playhouse, 24266 San Fernando Road, Newhall. Tickets: $16 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. Call (661) 288-0000. Children’s Holiday Music Program will feature holiday music performed by children from local elementary schools and performers from Vibe Performing Arts Studios, 5-7 p.m. Wednesday outside the food court entrances at Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Call (661) 298-1220. Family caroling party will meet in the parking lot, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. The caravan of singers will provide the gift of song and spread the holiday spirit to surrounding neighborhoods and return to the church around 8 p.m. to warm up with hot beverages and cookies. Call (661) 297-3783. Jam For Jesus will feature some of the top music artists in Southern California playing a variety of styles from pop to rock, 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 27265 Luther Drive, Canyon Country. Call (661) 252-0622.