It has been quite a while now since partisans and well-wishers of the opposition Liberty Party nursed the wounds of the passing of their Political Leader, Charles Walker Brumskine, who navigated the party’s political odyssey for nearly two decades. Having undergone a period of mourning, it seems the party is taking the hard decisions of bidding farewell to the Brumskine-LP ecosystem by essentially embarking upon radical shakeup in its ranks and files. One key means employed the neo-LPists is the stern revision of the party’s constitution, nearly decimating the age-old governance architecture in order to reflect and accommodate new internal as well as national dynamics and realities, as The Analyst reports.
Times and circumstances have apparently caught up with Liberty Party and it has begun taking sane looks at its internal makeup from the context of broader national politics which continues to change by the name.
Moving a step forward, and based on issues agreed to during the last party’s last national convention, the Liberty Party has revised and approved its new constitution.
According to stalwarts, the new constitution will pave the way for some radical changes in the leadership and governance structure of the party.
The reform commitments which come after the demise of the party’s revered political leader and standard-bearer Charles W. Brumskine, are geared towards a thorough rebranding process that would chart a more formidable place for the Liberty Party in Liberia’s tense-growing political arena.
Already, the party has put the National Elections Commissions (NEC) on notice regarding the evolving reform actions.
In a communication to the Chairperson of the NEC and members of the Board of Commissioners, dated October 20, 2020, the party stated that the decision to revise its original constitution was unanimously taken by party leaders and other delegates drawn from the 15 political subdivisions of the country during the Special convention held on August 1 and 2, 2020 in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County.
The LP communication to the NEC was signed by Acting Chairperson Ms Rugie Barry and Political Leader Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence.
In the revised document made available to this paper, there were some changes especially with respect to the leadership structure of the party. For instance, while the old version of the constitution allowed the office of the Standard Bearer to exist for six months after a presidential election and a new political leader elected or appointed if the Standard Bearer didn’t win the election, the new constitution allows the office of the Standard Bearer to exist for 90 days after which he or she will automatically the political leader.
On the other hand, the new dispensation maintains that if the Standard Bearer wins an election and becomes President of Liberia, he or she becomes the political leader of the party.
Also coming into effect is the increase in the number of national officers from the original 23 persons to 33, an addition of 10 new portfolios as well as changing the nomenclatures of some standing committees.
Some of the new portfolios created include, Vice Chairpersons for Interparty and NEC Affairs; International and Diaspora Affairs; Political and Legislative Affairs; Planning, Policy and Programs, and Membership, Auxillary Services, etc.
The Women and Youth Wings were renamed National Women Congress and National Youth Congress respectively with their individual chairpersons.
The document further revealed that within the Secretariat, the positions of Deputy Secretaries General in charge of Operations, inter-party and NEC Affairs, Political and Legislative Affairs, Planning, Policy and Program, Gender and Social Policy, International and Diaspora Affairs. etc. were created to bolster the effectiveness and efficiency of the running the party.
On the provisions for transition, the Liberty Party, which describes itself as a democratic centrist institution, said within 150 days of the coming into force of the revised constitution, a national convention will be held at which time all officials from the national chairman to the last person within the executive committee will be elected and serve for a tenure of 6 years.
The transitional provisions also indicate that persons currently occupying positions in acting capacity will continue to do so until proper elections are held.
The document also stated that within one year the National Executive committee (NEC) shall instruct the secretariat to conduct elections for the various county officers throughout the country.
According to sources close to the party, the sweeping changes in the constitution became necessary in order to give the party a corporate outlook where decisions will be properly deliberated and decided by the partisans through the leadership whose authority reflects the generality of the partisans.
The new dispensation will not allow any indiscriminate decision such as appointing or removing of officers by a political leader other than the national executive committee.
Party stalwarts boast that the new architecture will be a far cry from how political parties are run in Liberia by godfathers who are usually founders and financiers of these institutions and then turned into family businesses.
Meanwhile at a well-attended special convention where the constitution was revised and adopted, the party also rectified and adopted the collaboration framework with other political parties forming the Collaboration of Political parties (CPP). They also endorsed its candidates running on the ticket of the CPP: Senators Nyonblee Kargar- Lawrence (Grand Bassa County), Abraham Darius Dillon (Montserrado County and Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh ( Nimba county for the ensuing Mid-term Special Senatorial race slated for December 8, 2020 throughout Liberia
The Liberty Party is one of the major political institutions founded in 2005 and has consistently contested all elections, wining some legislative seats and losing the presidential slots on three different occasions when the late Cllr Charles Walker Brumskine who as fielded thrice as standard bearer.
The party challenged the outcome of the 2017 presidential and representative election all the way to the Supreme Court but lost its bid to have the elections cancelled and rerun.