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Liberia: Showdown in Senate Race, Another Soccer Icon, James “Salinsa” Debbah Casts Lot

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 Source: The New Dawn

They were friends and brothers on the football field back in the 80s and 90s, leading the national team, the Lone Star to several victories, which brought smiles and jubilation to thousands of soccer crazy Liberians both at home and abroad.

Speaking to The NewDawn via mobile phone on Sunday, Debbah disclosed that he’s strongly considering the option of testing his popularity with the Liberian people, who for more than a decade like Weah brought them joy from the field of play..

But ever since George Manneh Weah and celebrated star James Salinsa Debbah retired from football and came to politics, bad blood has been running between the two with Debbah vehemently opposing Weah’s quest for the presidency visibly during the 2005 elections that saw the coming to power of Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as the first female President in Liberia and Africa.

George Weah

George Weah

Debbah appears to be taking that fight further, as he has announced his intention here to contest for the senate in October probably against Weah, who had earlier declared he’s going for the Montserrado County senatorial seat after losing two presidential elections.

The twin strikers are gearing up to battle each other in the Special Senatorial Election this year in what promises to be a big political showdown bringing back the traditional soccer rivalry of IE verses Barrolle. .

Speaking to The NewDawn via mobile phone on Sunday, Debbah disclosed that he’s strongly considering the option of testing his popularity with the Liberian people, who for more than a decade like Weah brought them joy from the field of play.

According to him, no final decision yet, but he was currently holding series of consultations with major political parties, including the ruling Unity Party and the Liberty Party, which he supported separately in two national elections.

Debbah added that he may likely contest in Montserrado County against Weah where he has spent his entire life or in Grand Bassa County, home of his biological parents.

“But again, for the sake of the close comradeship and biological connection between George and me, I may consider a Grand Bassa County. But as said from the onset, I’ve not concluded discussion with political stakeholders yet because I have to be active and tactical in this drive. However, I think your publication and the reaction of Liberians could give me a sense of direction in the new venture of life,” the rather optimistic footballer-turn politician detailed.

With his bitter opposition to a Weah’s presidency in 2005, Debbah supported the candidacy of Liberty Party’s strongman Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, and in 2011 joined the group under the banner “Former Football Professionals” to vigorously campaign against Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change party.

 

 

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