Harrison Karnwea: The 2017 Elections Game Changer
Hon. Harrison Karnwea quickly became a household name in Liberian Politics, since his name was sent to the National Elections Commission as Vice Standard Bearer of Liberty Party. The business entrepreneur who once lived a quiet life away from the media and the public limelight was suddenly standing in the midst of a legal battle that was staged at the floors of the Supreme Court of Liberia. The Code of Conduct, used to prevent certain categories of government officials from contesting in the upcoming 2017 elections, was on trial at the Supreme Court. And Hon. Karnwea was ground zero. The mild-mannered and affable businessman seemed undisturbed by the media controversy, choosing to remain quiet while doing his work as the Deputy Political Leader of Liberty Party.
Hon. Karnwea canvassed the country with the Liberty Party’s message of hope, economic empowerment for the youth, job creation, education reform and healthcare, among others. He toured the most rural parts of the country, teaching his way through the villages and towns that have been forgotten by various administrations. And as he met villagers, the bond of kinsman was established. Hon. Karnwea has lived in rural Liberia, and worked in remote parts of the country for many years. He speaks few dialects, including Gio, Mano, Kpelle and has the penchant to learn from those he interacts with. It is this connection with rural inhabitants that have many viewing Harrison Karnwea as the game changer in the 2017 elections.
So it was no easy matter when the Supreme Court ruled in his favor to contest as Vice Standard Bearer of Liberty party. The atmosphere was electric across the country as many took to the streets to celebrate the inclusion of a man of character and integrity int to the political process. The grounds of the Supreme Court buckled under the feet of young men and women who showed up in huge numbers to celebrate the good news. Standing atop a sport utility vehicle, as he drove away from the Supreme Court, Liberians saw the stately figure of Liberty Party’s Vice Standard Bearer wave to cheering supporters.
In Nimba County, where Hon. Karnwea originates, the atmosphere was ecstatic. A jubilant supporter in Ganta stated “Nimba will do its part now that our son has done his part…We love Hon. Karnwea because he has demonstrated his commitment to us in the past. We have no doubt he will do even more as Vice President of this country.” As news of the court’s decision permeated the country, political analysts began to realize why it was important to his opponents that he not compete in the elections. Hon. Karnwea has his fingers on the pulse of the Liberian people. And with such popularity in the rural parts of the country, it is apparent that he is indeed the game changer in this year’s elections.