Bility & Nyonblee Meet @ NEC Today

There isn’t seemed an immediate end in sight to the brouhaha that has ensued in Charles Walker Brumskine’s Liberty Party as the two diametrically opposing groups are holding ground tightly in their trenches, taking offensive and defensive postures, and evading every out-of-court settlement. Now the Chief Electoral Umpire, the National Elections Commission (NEC), is stepping in on what seems to be the bastardization of this great party’s official emblem. Which of the party’s faction has right to use party insignias? Can both use them? Does one faction have authority to stop the other from using said? The NEC will decide soon as both the Chairman’s and the Political Leader’s factions face each other today. The Analyst reports.

Based upon a complaint filed by the National Chairman of the Liberty Party National, Mr. Musa Hassan Bility, against the party’s Political Leader Nyonblee-Lawrence and other stalwarts over the alleged illegal use of the Liberty Party’s name and insignia in any public pronouncements, the Dispute Hearing Section of NEC has cited Mr. Bility and others for a Hearing into the matter on today, Monday at 1pm.

In a letter addressed to Mr. Bility and others, dated February 4, 2022, NEC acknowledged receipt of Mr. Bility’s complaint filed January 31, 2022, addressed to the Chair and Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission, alleging that several suspended officials of the Liberty Party purporting to be officials of the LP are illegally using party emblems in violation of Article 79 of the Liberian Constitution; Elections Law; the LP Constitution and the Elections Commission’s rules and regulations.

“By directive of the Chief Dispute Hearing Officer of NEC, Cllr. Muana S. Ville, you are hereby cited for Hearing on Monday, 7th day of February A.D. 2022 at the hour of 1 O’clock P.M. in the Elections hearing Room of NEC,” the letter, signed by Chief Dispute Hearing Clerk Emmanuel K. Kerkula, stated.

According to some Liberty Party sources, other concerned party stalwarts who were named in Chairman Bility’s complaint also received citations to attend today’s hearing.

Chairman Bility and others on January 31, 2022 filed a complaint to the National Elections Commission of Liberia requesting the electoral body to immediately conduct an investigation into the matter of violations to ascertain the merits of their complaint; determine and impose appropriate sanctions for the violations, including imposition of appropriate fines; enjoin these individuals complained to immediately cease and desist from any recurrence of these action in the future; enjoin these individuals to cease and desist from using the Liberty Party name and insignia in any public pronouncements purporting to be in the name of Liberty Party; impose such additional remedies as are necessary and appropriate to ensure compliance; and grant unto the Liberty Party any and all further relief deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

The strongly-worded LP letter to the NEC stated that even though the Commission had already ruled that the LP Constitution currently filed at the Commission is the “official and valid Constitution of the LP, unless successfully challenged by a court of law, several individuals not pleased with the Commission’s ruling have decided to ignore the ruling and continue to commit acts of violation”.

Public Reactions to the LP Saga

The ongoing legal wrangling within the Liberty Party has impacted on their sympathizers and well-wishers, many of whom have been expressing deep-seated frustrations over the LP internal warfare.

Jomah Dennis, a resident of Caldwell, who claims to be an LP partisan, told The Analyst that it is disheartening to see the once-prestigious party end up in flames due to power struggle.

“How can you call yourself an opposition, but keep fighting one another instead of concentrating on how to unseat this unserious government? Liberty Party is really things hard for some of us,” he said.

Helena Brooks of Sinkor 9th Street called on the Liberty Party officials to immediately cease fire and get back to the drawing board, otherwise it will become irrelevant to the voters in 2023.

“Senator Karngar-Lawrence, Musa Bility, Darius Dillon and all the others who are going back and forth with lawsuits must stop so as to save the Party that Cllr. Brumskine risked his life and personal finance to keep afloat,” Madam Brooks told The Analyst, adding: “This is not what we bargained for.”

Another supposed LP member, Timothy Jaweah, is similarly angry: “Many a time I wonder if our party’s officials understand the magnitude of what they are doing to us, and more so to the fallen founder of this party? I don’t think so. Why should they be so blinded by greed for power as to ignore the blood and sweat some of us shed to get this party where they met it. I wish there was means to banish all two factions and let them remove their kneels off the neck of this party.”

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