MONROVIA – As Liberia drives towards the 2023 Legislative and Presidential Elections, political institutions in Liberia are leaving no stone untouched in ensuring that they are well positioned to participate in the said process. One of such group is the Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP), a constituent member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
The party on Saturday, December 17, held its 2nd National Convention under the theme: “Building Unity in Diversity”.
The one-day event took place in Tubmanburg City, Bomi County, Western Liberia.
Besides the hundreds of delegates and observers that attended the Convention, purposely meant to adopt a revised constitution and elect a new leadership for the party, dozens of other prominent personalities graced the occasion, amongst whom was Maryland County Senator and current National Chairman of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), James Biney, who served as keynote speaker for the occasion.
Speaking on the Convention theme, “Building Unity in Diversity”, the tough-talking Maryland Senator said that the time has come for all parties within the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to be treated equally and fairly.
He said since the Coalition’s electoral victory in 2017, his party, the NPP, and LPDP have been marginalized and unfairly treated.
“In this government that we all worked very hard to bring to power with the anticipation of governing the state as a Coalition without necessarily compromising the power of the Executive or breaching the organic law of our country, we as the NPP and LPDP have been marginalized and detached from national governance. My party, the NPP does not even have a ministerial post in the government.
As you all may be aware, the duration of the agreement that brought us together in 2017 expired on November 2, this year (2022). And so as we prepare to sign a new agreement to collaborate for the 2023 Elections, the issues of marginalization and other unfair practices against the NPP and LPDP must be adequately addressed in the new document; so that we will not suffer again and get the same ill-treatment that we are experiencing today, after winning in 2023”, the Keynote Speaker intoned amidst rounds of applause from the attendees.
Senator Biney also emphasized the need for an open primary process in which the NPP and LPDP will be given equal opportunity to participate.
“Excepting in special cases that will allow consultations amongst the three constituent parties for the purpose of choosing the most suitable candidates for the Coalition, we will encourage the Congress for Democratic Change to accept the idea of open primaries for the selection of all Legislative Candidates in the 2023 Elections.
This, in our view, will help to improve the performance of the Coalition in the ensuing Elections. We do not want the bitter experience in the 2020 Senatorial Midterm Election to repeat itself, this time around”, he emphatically maintained.
Keynote Speaker Biney warned his colleagues at the Liberian Legislature who are behind the signing of a resolution that is meant to qualify all incumbent lawmakers of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change to immediately disengage from such a deal. According to him, such a resolution “is dead on arrival” because it is “undemocratic”.
Making his opening statement earlier before the keynote address, the LPDP National Chairman, Chief Moses Kollie said that the Convention was organized for two main reasons; to adopt a revised constitution and elect a new leadership for the party. “Delegates and Fellow Partisans, I wish to utilize this time to officially inform you that the tenures of all of us that were elected during our First National Convention held in Kakata, Margibi County in 2015 under the theme: “LPDP: the New Direction” have expired, in consonance with our Constitution.
This is why we have chosen to gather here today to hold this 2nd National Convention under the theme: “Building Unity in Diversity”.
This gathering will be used as a medium to derive a legal framework that will allow us to receive new mandates for the various positions within our party. We will also be making use of this occasion to adopt our Revised Constitution” Chairman Kollie informed.
The LPDP National Chair also used the occasion to highlight few of the major achievements of his administration for the past 6 years. “Before closing, I am pleased to report to this body that in spite of the mounting challenges we continue to face as an institution, our leadership was able to keep the party alive and partisans united by working very hard to ensure that offices of the party remained open in almost every part of the country. Beyond that, we wish to announce the acquisition of a new and conducive national headquarters of our party in the Sherman Building in Oldest Congo Town.
On a daily basis, people continue to troop in at this new edifice.
To God be the glory and thanks to the political leader and other stakeholders of our party who stood by us to actualize this feat”, he reported.
The NEC official was quick to mention that it was his first time to witness the opening of a convention without tension or any semblance of confusion in recent times.
He cautioned the party to ensure that the process of electing their new corps of officers is carried out in a free, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible manner.
To end his brief remarks, he informed the leadership of the LPDP that it is required to submit the results of its convention to the NEC within ten (10) working days, after the process.
For his part, the Political Leader of the party and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Alex Tyler encouraged delegates of the Convention to remain peaceful, responsible, and tolerant at all times.
He said: “The LPDP is not one of the “fly-by-night” political parties in the country.
We are not one of the fly-by-night political parties in the country. We are a responsible institution and have come to stay.”
Tyler continues: “This is why we continue to exhibit maturity and responsibility in all that we do.”
Tyler further noted that the peaceful conduct of the Convention will clearly speak to who members are, as LPDP.
A resolution crafted and adopted by the Convention quoted that “Officers of the party elected during the Kakata Convention and in good standing with the party shall remain in their various positions until 2024, at which time a special convention shall be held to elect a new leadership.
These officers, the resolution also noted, shall be treated as if they were duly elected at the 2nd National Convention held in Tubmanburg, Bomi County on Saturday, December 17, 2022.”
Furthermore, it was resolved that new positions be created to expand the structure of the party and those positions were also filled in through a democratic process at the one-day event.
Those elected in this category are as follows,
Alexander Wento, National Vice Chairman for Operations, Joseph G. Wehyee National Vice Chairman for Mob./Recruit. & Training, Alexander Gargue, National Vice Chairman for International Affairs, Joseph K. Massaquoi National Vice Chairman for Finance & Investment, Cllr. Edward K. Goba National Vice Chairman for Legal Affairs, Hasiphine Tarpeh National Vice Chairman for Gender Affairs, Patrick J. Nixon, National Vice Chairman for Regional Affairs, Randolph Zulu, National Vice Chairman for Research, Plan. & Policy, Gbalee Gray National Deputy Secretary and , Robbin George Chairman, National Youth League among others.
The newly elected officers were inducted by the Political Leader of the Party, former Speaker J. Alex Tyler, Sr.
Consistent with the provision of the resolution adopted at the s 2nd National Convention, the composition of new leadership of the LPDP shall now consist of the following, J. Alex Tyler, Sr. Political Leader, Moses Y. Kollie National Chairman, Fred C.K. Lamadine National Vice Chairman for
Administration and Joseph G. Wehyee National Vice Chairman for mobilization, Recruitment, and Training among others.
The Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) is a constituent member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
It was accredited by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to operate as a political party in the country on June 14, 2015.
The party held its first National Convention in Kakata, Margibi County in 2015.