Liberia: Senator Varney Sherman Retires Amid Massive Defeat In Cape Mount Senatorial Race
Senator Sherman denied all of the corruption allegations, but analysts say these scandals dealt a huge blow to his career as a politician and a lawyer.
CAPITOL HILL, Monrovia – Senator Varney Sherman has announced his retirement from active politics, citing his defeat in the just-ended October 10 Senatorial Elections in Grand Cape Mount County.
According to him, the elections went beyond his expectations and as such, it was prudent that he takes a leave from politics and focuses on his personal life.
“The massive has spoken, the numbers are there and I must salute Cape Muntenians for their voices which have been heard through the ballot box. This will bring me to the end of politics in our country and my age can no longer permit me to dive into politics,” Cllr. Sherman told reporters.
With almost all of the votes counted, Senator Sherman is trailing Unity Party Senatorial candidate Dabah M. Vapilah and three other candidates. He has garnered 5,487 votes, constituting 12 percent, while Madam Vapilah leads the race with 8,718, amounting to 20.16%.
Speaking in the chambers of the Liberian Senate on Tuesday, October 17, following the 54th Legislature’s final return, Grand Cape Mount Senator expressed disappointment in the form and manner voters are electing their leaders across the country. He expressed sadness that voters are not voting based on qualifications, but based on their relationship and other trivial issues.
He attributed this to lack of proper education, thereby stressing the need for urgent intervention by the Government, something he said when done will help the ordinary citizens make decision from an informed background.
Cllr. Sherman is one of Liberia’s best legal luminaries and considered as the best internationally connected lawyers. He ran as president in Liberia’s first postwar election in 2005 on the Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia (COTOL) ticket.
In 2010, his party, the Liberian Action Party (LAP) formed a merger with the then ruling Unity Party of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, with him serving as the New Unity Party Chairman. In 2014, he ran successfully as Senator of Grand Cape Mount County and became Chairman of the Senate’s influential Judiciary Committee.
Fall from Grace
In 2016, Senator Sherman was accused of paying “bribes” on behalf of Sable Mining Company to Liberian government officials, claims he and the company denied. In 2020, Sherman was hit with the the U.S. Treasury Department’s Global Magnitsky sanctioned for allegedly offering bribes to multiple judges associated with his trial for a 2010 bribery scheme.
The Department said he had an undisclosed conflict of interest with the judge who ultimately returned a not guilty verdict in July 2019. In addition, he was accused of routinely paying judges to decide cases in his favor, and allegedly facilitated payments to Liberian politicians to support impeachment of a judge who has ruled against him. He denied all of these accusations, but analysts say these scandals dealt a huge blow to his career as a politician and a lawyer.
By: Emmanuel Toe
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