Liberia: Jewel “Expelled” from NPP
Bentol City, Montserrado – Delegates, who attended the “extraordinary session” of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) faction under the leadership of embattled James Biney, on Saturday, December 1, unanimously voted to expel Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor from the party.
By Willie Tokpah, back from Bentol City, Lower Montserrado County
Meeting in Bentol City, Montserrado County, the Biney faction also expelled Mr. John Gray, the party’s chairman.
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.
Whether the President has the power to single handedly recall his VP from her post as they were both elected remains to seen. However, the Biney NPP faction is urging the President to do so, even though they said it may take time.
This NPP faction said they were expelling the two because they had allegedly gone against the party’s constitution and tried to bring division within the NPP and by extension the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
“Any institution that does not respect its bylaw is bind to fail. We are more hopeful than three years ago. We are into power right now,” Biney, who and VP Taylor have been embroiled in a war of words over the leadership of the party, said.
“NPP is the most experienced political party in the Coalition, so we have to be patient. We will get there,” he added.
He said it was regretful that the VP Taylor and others would tend to bring the party to public disrepute at this time of its resurrection, when she (VP Taylor) was doubtful of the party’s possibility of forming a part of the Coalition.
Speaking before the decisions were reached, Biney told the delegates that NPP might reach a crisis point if they as delegates refuse to take “certain decisions” that will move the party forward. That decision according to him would be determined through a resolution that was expected to take place.
He maintained that rivals to his leadership have no case against him but to showcase dictatorship and envy.
The embattled chairman clarified that his leadership does not have any intention to emerge NPP with the Congress for Democratic Change, which hold majority shares in the ruling coalition.
“They have nothing against me. It is just envy; they intend also to showcase dictatorship. They said Biney wants to emerge the party with CDC, that’s not the case. Political parties do not work like that. Not even Chairman Biney or Charles Taylor can emerge the NPP with the CDC. It’s just total nonsense,” he argued.
He also defended that the members of the delegates at the gathering were not handpicked as had been argued by some in the other faction of NPP.
One notable member of the party, who had been a serious rival to the embattled Chairman, former Bong County Representative George Sylvester Mulbah, earlier said he would have endorsed any decision that was to be taken in the Saturday extraordinary session.
According Rep. Mulbah, Biney’s refusal to have listened to an advice he had given him sometime ago, further played in the factor responsible for the brewing tension in the party.
The former lawmaker described VP Taylor as “a wicked wizard,” currently within NPP and tearing it apart.
“Because of personal greed, we are destroying ourselves. What decision you make is left with you and will be endorsed,” he stated.
When it was time to reach the “certain decision” that Chairman Biney had spoken about earlier, a motion seeking the explosion of VP Jewel Howard Taylor from NPP was placed on the floor by a delegate from Grand Kru County while a delegate from River Gee suggested that she be suspended for time indefinite.
It was voted unanimously by delegates from the 15 counties that the NPP standard bearer, who is the Vice President of Liberia, and the defato chairman, John Gray, be expelled from the NPP.
They also agreed that rivals members, to James Biney, who are occupying public offices be withdrawn from those offices and expelled.
The dedicates called on the party to ensure employment opportunities for members, who are not in government.
According to our reporters, one conspicuous absent from the convention was Bomi County Senator Sando D. Johnson. Sen. Johnson, who is an ally of VP Taylor, is a ardent NPP partisan.
At Saturday’s convention, the party said it does not recognize the Bomi Senator as one its members.
He was the former Vice Chair for Administration.
His position was put up for grasp and it was occupied as part of the revolution within the party.
Meanwhile, Ms. Charline Taylor, one of the daughters of former President Taylor considered the ‘Godfather’ of the party, was unanimously voted as Vice Chair for Administration.
Dopoe Menkarzon, another loyalist of Mr. Taylor, was voted as Vice Chairman for Operations, Recruitment and Mobilization with 124 votes ahead of Clarence Wilson who came next to him with 36 votes.
However, the election of Charline Taylor left a vacancy for the post of Assistant Secretary General for Administration.
It was filled by Alexander Shannon, who won with 95 votes, ahead of Edward J. Morgan and Juwus P. Browne with .
Reporter Jackson F. Kanneh contributed to the story.