The Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) has launched an investigation into allegations that Rep. Gonpue L. Kargon (District #4, Nimba) received a large sum of money from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to persuade influential Nimbaians to support President George Weah in the upcoming election. Kargon has denied the claims, stating that they are completely false.
Sources suggest that Kargon, who is also an official of the MDR, received US$72,000 and L$30 million from the CDC to purchase campaign materials and to distribute them among chiefs, elders, youth and women group leaders, among others to convince their people to switch their support to Weah and the CDC. The MDR has threatened to expel Kargon if he does not appear before the party’s executive committee to address the allegations.
Recently, Senator Prince Y. Johnson, founder and political leader emeritus of the MDR, accused Kargon of being used by the CDC to win votes from the opposition Unity Party (UP) and the MDR presidential ticket represented by former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and Nimba County Senator Jeremiah Kpan Koung. Johnson named several local county officials, including chiefs, elders, municipal leaders, and other influential people within Nimba, as being targeted.
Kargon denied receiving any money from President Weah and the CDC, stating that he has not received any written communication from the MDR regarding the investigation. He clarified that his political partnership with Weah began long before the MDR pledged its support to the UP, and as such he is committed to supporting Weah in the upcoming election. He acknowledged Senator Johnson as his political father and pledged to support his third term senatorial bid as a full member of the MDR.
Kargon added that he has been favored by President Weah among several lawmakers from Nimba, and as a result, the President has promised to undertake several developmental projects in his district, including the construction of roads, bridges, schools, and granting his district headquarters of Garplay a city status.