Liberia: Unity Party Suspends Chairman, Places Him Under Investigation
MONROVIA – The opposition Unity party has with immediate effect suspended its national Chairman Wilmot Paye to face investigation for allegedly violating the party’s constitution, but chairman Paye has condemned the decision accusing former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the standard-bearer, Joseph Boakai, of plotting against him.
The party reached the decision after hours of the executive committee meeting on Tuesday.
According to the Secretary-General Mo Ali, Chairman Paye would be investigated by a five-man investigative committee for issuing a unilateral press statement on January 5th 2020 calling on partisans of the UP to stay away from the January 6 protest after the party had stated that it is the rights of the people to gather and petition their government.
“The first thing is that the committee will investigate the motive behind the unilateral press statement and will report in two weeks for further actions by the national executive committee. The Committee is headed by Manbandee Varplah, Cllr. Peter Bonah Jallah will advise the Committee, Mrs. Cornelia Kruah-Togba, and Representative Richard Koon are members.
Accusing Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Responding to the executive committee decision, the embattled chairman said the decision was influenced by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Mr. Boakai the current standard-bearer who served as Vice President to Mrs. Sirleaf.
Speaking to his supporters, he said, like Boakai and other party officials he was elected on July 8, 2016 by the delegates on white ballot and it is only through such process he can be removed.
Paye: “I, Paye, and others were duly elected on white ballot the same as the former Vice President. It is only the delegates representing the 15 counties that can make decision. The conspiracy of Ellen and Boalkai is a flop. They are fighting us because they know we hate corruption.
“No human will take away our desire to serve our people and we are in it for life. This has re-enforce our resolve to stand for the people. This is not about me or the former vice president, it is a direct attack on the collaborating efforts which our people have worked.”
However, Mr. Ali debunked Mr. Paye’s allegation and stated the party has a precedent for suspending members who breach the constitution or go against the party’s decision.
“I, Paye, and others were duly elected on white ballot the same as the former Vice President. It is only the delegates representing the 15 counties that can make decision. The conspiracy of Ellen and Boalkai is a flop. They are fighting us because they know we hate corruption.”– Wilmot Paye, Embattled Chairman, Unity Party
“I didn’t see former President Sirleaf in the Meeting and I don’t get alone with her, we must stop scapegoating here this is about the unity party. This Party has a precedent. We suspended eight lawmakers, and even President Sirleaf was expelled,” he said.
On Monday, FrontPageAfrica reported through a reliable source that there is an ongoing beef between the chairman and the standard-bearer of the former ruling Unity Party to the extent that the standard-bearer the pair reportedly no longer see eye-to-eye.
FrontPageAfrica gathered that the former Vice President who now serves as the political leader of the party, Joseph Boakai, though known to be a calm man, reached his boiling point when the chairman of the party, Wilmot Paye, unilaterally held a press conference on January 5 calling on partisans to not to get involved with the January 6 protest organized by the Council of Patriots.
Boakai had earlier condemned the George Weah-led administration for being insensitive to some of the plights of Liberians and called on the government not to stop citizens from expressing through protest.