Distrust within the Unity Party – An Issue of Boakai’s Formidability

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FOR MANY, former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai represents the way forward for Liberia. But the former ruling party’s standard bearer does not have a clear chance yet of being on the ballot unless delegates at the CPP convention elect him.

SADLY, WITHIN his very Unity Party, there are already doubts that the Unity Party’s delegates would elect him. Some within the party believe that delegates would be deceitful and sway their support to the Alexander B. Cummings, the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), a constituent member of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).

THEREFORE, the Legal Officer of the Unity Party, Cllr. Bushuben Keita, has been mandated by the Party’s National Executive Committee to research and advice on the constitutional and legal implications of a proposal by some executives of the UP to restrict the rights of delegates to the pending CPP primaries from directly electing the CPP candidate to lead the Collaboration. 

FURTHER TO MITIGATE the fear of deceitful play at the convention, there were suggestions that instead of UP Delegates being allowed to vote individually representing the broader constituencies of the Party, the Party should restrict their delegates’ votes by mandating its delegates to sign a Resolution, in which the delegates must commit to vote only for Joe Boakai.

THE SUGGESTION was greeted with strong resistance from other National Executive Committee Members led by River Gee Senator, Commany B. Wesseh and Lofa County Representative, Francis Nyumalin. Both lawmakers argued vehemently that the move would be unconstitutional, anti-democratic, counter-productive to the image of the Party, and violative of the spirit and intent of the Collaboration of which the UP is a part.

THE LAWMAKERS reminded the meeting and their frightened colleagues that the Elections Law provides that all contestants must have access to all delegates at conventions and primaries of parties and coalitions for the purpose of persuading their votes for elected offices.

THEY ALSO expressed reservation about the negative implications such illegal and undemocratic restrictions would have on the CPP which is promising to he a better alternative by pledging to govern more inclusively, democratically and in strict compliance with the laws of the country.

“IF OTHER PARTIES within the CPP follow suit, trust will be eroded in the CPP and the group will fail the Liberian people”, they argued; further cautioning their suspicious colleagues of the UP NEC against alienating its structures, breaking the law, and undermining the CPP based on fears and suspicions.

THE CONSTITUENT members of the CPP must remind themselves that they all signed a Framework document by which they are governed. It is, therefore, imperative, that they stick to the to document.

THE CPP WILL utterly lose its relevance and the trust of the public if they cannot properly coordinate their affairs without mistrust among themselves. The collaboration would be of no essence if the individual delegates within the collaboration would not be allowed to independently elect who they see fit to head the CPP ticket in the 2023 presidential election.

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