By Stephen G. Fellajuah
MONROVIA: The Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Musa Hassan Bility has revealed that talks are ongoing about a joint initiative of the Collaborating Political Parties and the Liberia People’s Party (LPP) to work together on electoral integrity and to support each other in the case of a run-off election.
In the absence of the standard-bearers of the two parties, the meeting was attended by senior officials from each of the parties.
Following the closed door meeting held between the two parties at the Colony Hotel in Congo Town, Monrovia, on Monday, June 19, 2023 Chairman Bility in an impromptu interview with newsmen, said they have realized the need to work together in so many areas including election integrity to ensure that the conduct of the upcoming October 10, 2023 presidential and legislative elections is free and fair.
In addition, he said the initiative also highlights working together to train their poll watchers, educating them on all of the rules about elections, stressing on collaborating in case there is a run-off.
“The meeting was not about merger. LPP has a candidate in Mr. Gongloe, while the CPP has a candidate in Mr. Cummings. There are a lot of ways that opposition parties can work together making sure that they don’t waste their energy on each other, Mr. Bility emphasized. He further said that opposition parties can energize and make sure they have poll watchers at every polling station, to ensure their rights as the party is respected and that the votes are free and fair.
According to him, this is a relationship that they built initially and is opened to other political parties to join to make sure that they begin to build just understanding based on how they see the elections, that if they sit with a political party that agree with the idea then they can come into the forum that the CPP and LPP had initiated.
“It is a very loose cooperation and nothing has been agreed yet. This is a beginning meeting and hopefully within the next two weeks we will formalize something and the two standard bearers will meet to do that. This was a joint party meeting. We agreed to set up several committees on election security, poll watching. We also agreed that in case of a run-off we will support each other”, he noted.
No, we never discussed about merger, this is exclusively about cooperation, he emphasized
When he was asked about a first round victory coming from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Chairman Bility vehemently ruled out any first round victory as claimed by the CDC, saying the CDC can talk about it that doesn’t mean it will happen. CDC knows that there will be a second round. We believe that if there is a first round that will be in the interest of the opposition and not the ruling government.