Tough LP Convention This Weekend •Musa Bility Expected To Bag Chairmanship •Kofi Woods To Delivers Keynote Address
Having lost its Founding Standard Bearer to the cruel hands of death a year ago, one of Liberia’s arguably most formidable political parties, the Liberty Party, has got reasons to believe that the celestial spirit of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine has lavishly smiled at them. And there is a big reason to celebrate. The evidence of this is clearly expressed in the results of the just ended hotly contested midterm senatorial elections where the party made strategic, impactful gains with comfortable victories in a number of counties. It seems the party is not made complacent by the celebratory gains. It is still pushing the re-set button for a comprehensive overhaul that will not only strengthen their bargaining strength and prestige on the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP} but that will also make them an invincible political institution to contend in the country. One way the Liberty Party apparently wants to achieve this is to start with a Special National Convention that will be used to fashion a new power architecture and rationalize its internal organizational mechanisms. The Analyst reports.
Heading for Historic post Brumskine Convention
The opposition Liberty Party has announced in Monrovia that all roads lead to the Liberian central city of Gbarnga, Bong County, for what is described as a historic national convention. \The Party said in a release that the assembly will be attended “in-person” by stalwarts, duty bearers and ordinary partisans and well-wishers from January 22 to 24.
The outcome of the convention, which will witness the cropping up of a new corps of officers through a scheduled electoral process as well as the discussion of a new constitution will be the first major assembly of all since the demise of founding standard bearer and political leader Charles Walker Brumksine.
Brumskine led and dominated the Liberty Party for nearly two decades; even in death, he is celebrated and adored by partisans. The pending convention will, in effect, keep the Brumskine shadow over the psyche of partisans and leaders a bit away, according to some pundits.
Senator-Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence, dubbed only first female senator on Capitol Hill, will be presiding over the rather first post-Brumskine convention.
Making pronouncements about the convention, Senator Lawrence said the convention is in line with the constitution of Liberty Party.
The Constitution states: “In the opinion of the Political Leader there exists uncertainty or dispute in the party as to the direction of the party, or the failure of the Executive Committee to follow the mandate of the National Convention, or when the party loses a Presidential Elections, or the party loses two consecutive by-elections, the Standard-bearer may dissolve the Executive Committee and call a Special Session of the National Convention to be called the Special National Convention”.
She declared: “I, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Political Leader of Liberty Party, by the authority vested in me by the party’s Constitution, do hereby issue this Special Order for the holding a Special National Convention.”
She added that the special national convention will “review amendatory language proposed to the Constitution for subsequent adoption by duly accredited delegates to the Special National Convention” and to “to hold elections for all national positions either by a single slate of candidates or through an open process”.
Businessman Musa Hassan Bility seeks chairmanship
The issuance of this decree by Senator Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence has initiated intense lobbying amongst partisans and leaders.
According to insiders, Businessman Musa Bility is vigorously endeavoring to campaign for the chairman of the party.
The sources said Mr. Bility is largely expected to run unopposed.
Bility joined Liberty Party in the face of the 2017 national elections and served as Chief Executive Officer for the Liberty Party 2017 Campaign.
Brumskine, then political leader of Liberty Party, later conferred on Mr. Bility the rank of the chairman of the Liberty Party’s National Advisory Council after he (Bility) was elected at a special council sitting in Lofa County in early 2018.
Bility is credited for handling the chaotic constitutional review process that took place late 2020. Some stalwarts contend that the constitution review of 2020 as a attempt to dilute the power of the office of the political leader.
Sources close to Bility say he has planned to initiate sweeping changes in the administration of the party to make it meaningful and more formidable among the three collaborating parties.As part of Bility’s plan, the Liberty Party is expected to relocate its national headquarters to a new location that conforms to the financial capability for smooth running.
The source said businessman Bility intends to make the party’s secretariat functional with complete control over county chairpersons who will routinely monitor the proper functioning and administration of activities in the fifteen counties.
Other sources conjecture that Bility already has got the support of all fifteen chairpersons and county secretaries for LP chairmanship, placing him in control of 36 plus votes already ahead of the convention.
Competitive Biddings for Other Posts
Rudkie Barry, Sen Abraham Dillion and several others are said to be contesting positions on the executive committee of the party.
Jacob Smith has served as National Secretary General for more than two decades and clearly has no intent, according to some sources, to retain the post at this year’s convention.
The stepping aside of SG Smith makes the contest for the position of secretary general tense. Sources say the post is expected to be tightly contested by longtime Brumskine loyalist, Atty Kla Edward Toomey, and Sen. Darius Dillon’s chief of staff and party strategist, Martin Saye Kollah.
Convention delegates will be largely split between the two contenders with reports suggesting that Mr Musa Bility’s block, the largest is supporting Martin Kollah as the preferred choice to replace Jacob Smith in the secretary general role.
It is not yet clear which of the two candidates Political Leader Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence will support as the chief scribe of the party.
Vocal Daniel Sando, the Assistant Secretary General who is Senator Lawrence’s administrative assistant has applied for the position of National Vice Chair for Press and Public Affairs.
Sources in the party say, partisan Emmanuel Azango has also applied for same post to challenge Sando at the Gbarnga Convention.
The Liberty Party, at the Gbarnga Convention, is expected to elect a new set of officers to the National Executive Committee that will run the party for the next four years.
Kofi Woods to Keynote Convention
Meanwhile, it is confirmed that Atty. Kofi Woods and Former Associate Justice J’neh to play key roles.
Long time Human Rights Lawyer Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods has been named convention speaker. Woods has not made public what his statement will be anchored on.
Woods, a former Minister of Public Works under Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has not a member of the Liberty Party but is believed to be a key supporter of the four Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) of which Liberty Party is a constituent member.
There are unconfirmed reports that he even helped in crafting of the framework document for the CPP. This paper cannot independently verify that.
Former Associate Justice Kabneh Ja’Neh has been selected to serve as installing officer for the would-be elected officials.