Liberia: NPP, LPDP Draw ‘Fishy’ Resolution ahead of Senatorial Election

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MONROVIA – From the unfolding events, one can easily tell that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) will experience a very rough ride among its members in deciding who contests on the Coalition’s ticket in the mid-term election scheduled for October this year.

The National Patriotic Party (NPP) headed by the Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor was the first to send out a caveat to the other two members of the Coalition not to venture counties where the NPP already has an incumbent. 

About a fortnight ago, the chairman emeritus of the NPP, Chief Cyril Allen, after an emergency meeting held by the party, told journalists, that the NPP resolved to ensure that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) sticks to the agreement that brought the tripartite arrangement that formed the Coalition.

Chief Allen: “Our agreement between the three collaborating parties under the Coalition was very clear and the Election Commission used our documents as basis to register as a Coalition; we must not renege on it. It is very bad for institution to make commitment and sign documents and submit them to international respectable bodies and renege on those agreements, that shows lack of seriousness.

He added: “When it comes to senatorial seats, we said that all incumbent seats that any of the three-member parties and to some extent the collaborating political parties will remain for those parties and only with negotiation and discussion within those parties will allow those seats be given out.”

Currently, the NPP has three sitting senators to include Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson, Maryland County Senator Dan Morais, and Senator Armah Jallah of Gbarpolu County respectively.

Embattled Chairman Going Contrary

While the NPP appears to remain resolved in this regard, the embattled chairman of the party who has a long-standing beef with the standard bearer, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has written President George Manneh Weah, as head of the Coalition informing him of a resolution reached between the NPP and the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) informing him a resolution that would guide the 2020 senatorial election and subsequently, the 2023 general and presidential elections.

NPP James Biney’s letter to President Weah which is co-signed by Mr. Moses Y. Kollie, Chairman of the LPDP, states: 

Dear Standard Bearer,

The two Constituent Political Party (NPP & LPDP) of the Coalition present compliments to you and wish to present the attached Resolution representing their position which are intended to strengthen the Coalition in preparation for the 2020 Senatorial Election and the 2023 Presidential and Legislative General Elections.

It is our hope Mr. Standard Bearer of the Coalition and President of the Republic of Liberia that this Resolution will be considered in the spirit of unity and solidarity.

The Resolution

“That the Governing Council which served as the fulcrum of the Coalition’s success in the 2017 elections be allowed as stated in the Coalition’s agreement, to derive policies by consensus (a method used by the Coalition during the 2017 elections) that will guide the Coalition in all future decisions of the Coalition. In the absence of such, any decision reached by a constituent political party without the involvement of the other two will not be considered a Coalition’s decision.”

– The NPP and LPDP Resolution

Among other things, the resolution indicates that the tripartite arrangement had an agreement to put forth a single slate of legislative candidates for the 2017 elections but did not define how candidates will be derived for the Coalition in subsequent elections.

“That the Governing Council which served as the fulcrum of the Coalition’s success in the 2017 elections be allowed as stated in the Coalition’s agreement, to derive policies by consensus (a method used by the Coalition during the 2017 elections) that will guide the Coalition in all future decisions of the Coalition. In the absence of such, any decision reached by a constituent political party without the involvement of the other two will not be considered a Coalition’s decision,” the resolution states.

It further notes that the process leading to the selection of the Coalition’s candidates for the senatorial mid-term election shall be derived by the three parties using a method agreed upon by the three constituent parties of the Coalition.

Resolution Not Sanctioned 

A stalwart of the NPP who spoke to FrontPageAfrica on the condition of anonymity because he’s not clothed with the authority to officially speak said the NPP as an independent party is not in the know of the resolution. 

According to him, Biney led a faction of the members of the party to team up with the LPDP to draw the resolution which is intended to overall how the NPP intends going about the senatorial election.

“The official membership of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of NPP as of 2016 are 53 members one died (Cllr. TC Gould) and three others left. Balance NEC members are 49. Out of the 49 only 18 signed the so-called resolution, the rest who signed are non-NEC members, meaning that the rest NEC of the NPP are not aware of this resolution and no decision was reached by the NEC of NPP for that resolution,” the source said.

Biney-Jewel Beef

The relationship between Biney as Chairman and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor as standard bearer of the party began immediately after the CDC won the 2017 presidential elections, FPA gathered.

It all started, according to reports, when VP Taylor opposed to a plan to merge the NPP with the Congress for Democratic Change headed by President George Weah.

Biney became opposed to Jewel’s decisions in the party, especially her decision to allow members who resigned from the party in 2017 to contest on other tickets to come back to the party.

The embattled Chairman, Senator Biney, was expelled from the party in November 2018 after going gutter with the standard bearer over a decision reached by the executive committee to extend an olive branch for all members to left the party prior to the 2017 elections for political reasons. 

It became glaring that the party was divided with a faction leaning towards President Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change while the other barked the standard-bearer.

Upon his expulsion, the Chairman of the CDC on November 7, 2018 issued a statement instructing the NPP to reinstate Biney. 

CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu called on the National Executive Committee of the NPP to go back to status quo ante, adding that President George Weah will not do business with the NPP should it refuse to reinstate its Biney as chairman.

However, the National Executive Committee of the NPP termed statement coming from members of the Governing Council of the Coalition on the reinstatement of its Chairman as high level of interference in their party.

Addressing the news conference in the Charles Ghankay Taylor Conference Room at the party Headquarter Thursday, November 8, 2018, the Acting National Chairman of NPP John Gray said the statement coming from other members of the Coalition contravenes the functionary spirit and intent of the coalition agreement.

“It is, therefore, inconceivable on the parts of Mr. Mulbah K. Morlu, Moses Kollie, Mr. Janga Kowo and suspended Bolton Dennis, purporting as agents of the Governing Council to come up with a statement challenging the decision of the National Executive Committee of the NPP,” Gray Said. “This matter is solely the internal prerogative of the NPP.”

However, delegates loyal to Biney who attended an ‘extraordinary session under his leadership on Saturday, December 1, 2018 unanimously voted to expel Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor from the party.

The delegates also agreed that a communication be sent to President George Manneh Weah, telling him to “recall” the two expelled persons, from their governmental posts.

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