Liberia: Major Breakaway Looming in the Collaborating Political Parties
MONROVIA – For Mo Ali, the National Secretary General of the Unity Party, the pending pullout of the All Liberian Party (ALP) from the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) is the beginning of an “irreversible disintegration of the CPP.
The CPP is an alliance of the four major opposition political parties comprising the Unity Party (UP), the All Liberian Party (UP), Liberty Party (LP) and the Alternative National Congress, for the sole purpose of amalgamating forces and resources for removal of President George Weah and his CDC government from power in the 2023 presidential elections.
The CPP experienced its strength as a result of the collaboration in the 2020 Special Senatorial Elections in which majority of the seats were won by its candidates.
But the collaboration plunged into a series of internal wrangling shortly after that election. These internal wrangling range from allegations of tampering with the CPP Framework Document, formation of blocs within the collaboration and the allegations of blatant violation of the Framework Document and deviation from the principles of accountability.
Last week, the National Executive Committee of the ALP mandated its political leader and national chairman to withdraw from the CPP.
According to the ALP, the decision was made as a result of a comprehensive review of the party’s participation in the CPP, the uncertainties about the political future of the collaboration, the lack of strong will to implement the findings of the CPP FA Investigative Committee’s findings of the alterations of the CPP’s Framework Agreement, among other issues.
The ALP which is headed by Mr. Benoni Urey as Political Leader and a strong political ally of the Mr. Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party, will now be seeking legal action for what they termed as “unlawful attachment” of its leaders’ signatures to the alleged altered Framework Document filed with the National Elections Commission.
The ALP noted that it remains resolute in exhausting all legal requirements for its successful pullout from the CPP.
While the Alternative National Congress and the Liberty Party are yet to provide any official comment on the imminent pullout of one of the members of the CPP, the Unity Party Secretary General, Mr. Mo Ali, who also heads the CPP Secretariat, told FrontPageAfrica that the ALP is an independent political party that decided to form alliance for the formulation of the CPP. He said, the ALP has the right at any time it deems necessary to pullout.
However, Mr. Ali said, the pullout signifies an irreversible disintegration of the CPP. “The ALP is an independent political party that has the right to make any decision they want to make. Like everyone else, we’ve heard of their pullout from the CPP because of the disharmony in the CPP and they believe the current CPP constitution is not what they signed up to. I think their pullout is an irreversible disintegration of the CPP.”
Ironically, the ALP imminent pullout comes amid rumors that the Unity Party’s executive committee had voted for the party to dismember itself from the CPP. The Unity Party is yet to provide any official comment on this speculation.
However, this speculation came out immediately the political leader of the Liberty Party, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawerence, Senator Darius Dillon, Senator Steve Zargo and other high-ranking members of the Liberty Party were suspended from their respective posts in the party due to failure to pay dues followed by the Liberty Party’s endorsement of Mr. Alexander Cummings of the ANC as head of the CPP 2023 ticket.
The Liberty Party’s convention which was held in Ganta, Nimba County in December 2021 was held shortly after the suspension of key members key members.
The Liberty Party’s contested constitution, but recognized by the National Elections Commission (NEC), provides for delinquent due payers to be suspended.
But the suspended LP members have taken exception to the suspension and also declared the chairman, Musa H. Bility, as a persona non-grata in the party. He was replaced with Sen. Zargo who was asked to act.
National Elections Commission is yet to recognize the Steve Zargo leadership while Bility continues to perform and recognize by some partisans and top hierarchy of the party as the legitimate chairman.
It is widely believed in the opposition community that had Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence and her cohorts had not been suspended from their positions in the party, the LP would have swayed Unity Party’s Joseph Boakai’s way.
The ALP has also never hidden its support for Mr. Boakai and on Mr. Urey is on record for saying that “Cummings is not fit to lead” – a statement that prompted a sharp reaction from Mr. Cummings expressed grave disappointment in Mr. Urey’s attacks.
Cummings had argued that, “When the four (4) political parties agreed to come together on February 21, 2019 and we all affixed our signatures to the document, we decided to work together in a collaboration of independent parties and by 2023, put forth a single ticket for the Presidency in 2023.”
FrontPageAfrica has reliably been informed that Senator Karnga-Lawrence and other key and influential individuals in the Liberty Party are poised to break away from the party.
Over the past few months, Boakai and Cummings, the two forerunners of the CPP, have not gotten along. Their differences which have also put ordinary members of the various CPP constituent members at loggerheads, cut across allegations of tampering to the CPP Framework Document to allegations of violating the CPP Framework Document.
The underlining factor of their differences is that both feel more suitable to head the CPP ticket. None is willing to backdown. Yet, they have both professed to supporting the other should they not be selected by the delegates at the CPP convention before 2023.
While this assurance may be sincere, what remains the point of contention is the political maneuverings by some constituent parties to influence the process. This debacle has remained a long haul.