“I will Not Seek the Presidency,  Or accept offer for VP -Bility Vows to Ensure Vibrant Opposition Community

In what is being construed as a reconciliatory move, the Chairman of the opposition Liberty Party, Musa Hassan Bility, says he will not be seeking the Presidency, nor will he seek or accept the offer to be a running mate to any of the candidates within the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) during the 2023 presidential and general elections, basically because one cannot seek to reconcile others if one is perceived to hold competing interest in a position sought by the others.

Sending a clarion call to the Liberty Party and the opposition community, Mr. Bility further urged the opposition to seek power honestly and deservedly, or risk using power dishonestly and undeservedly.

“I have realized that the struggle to change is indeed difficult even with the best of intentions. But it is much harder when we put personal ambitions above collective interests. Of course, democracy is hard, but its processes and outcomes make it worthwhile, and the changes we seek almost always begin with ourselves. Liberia needs all of us,” the LP Chairman averred in a special statement Wednesday.

“It is therefore my considered decision that I, Musa Hassan Bility, will not be seeking the Presidency, nor will I seek and or accept the offer to be a running mate to any of the candidates within the opposition (CPP). I intend to play a meaningful role in the 2023 Elections but not one which will seem divisive to the opposition community. I have spoken about my decision to Mr. Alexander Cummings who has been endorsed by the Special Convention of the Liberty Party, and he has expressed his understanding and support for my decision and future undertakings. Our bonds of friendship, partnership and brotherhood between us personally, and our two institutions generally, remain as strong as ever, and we continue to share the urgent need to change our country for the better and to improve the living conditions of all Liberians.

“In the next few weeks, I will be consulting with other political leaders, my family, Members of the Liberty Party Executive Committee, close friends, the people of Nimba County, the Muslim Community and well-wishers in pursuit of my future undertakings and ongoing efforts to reconcile the CPP. The outcome of these consultations will finally determine my role in the 2023 Presidential and General Elections. It is my ardent hope that this decision will help to further end the struggle in the Liberty Party, as well as ease the tension within the opposition community, and return us to the real challenge we face on behalf of the Liberian people, and our country,” the LP Chairman stated emphatically.

Genuflecting on the internal wrangling that has threatened the survival of the Liberty Party over a protracted period, Mr. Bility observed that the party has been engaged in a struggle for its soul.

“Without the steady guide of its founding father, we found ourselves trapped between the past and the future – whether we would respond to the need to build a more democratic political institution which the country craves or be trapped in one dedicated only to the political ambition of a few individuals. As a function of our growth and maturation, we came to be burdened by whether or not we would expand beyond a tribal aspiration to embrace all tribes and pursue national goals of unification.

“Accordingly, the Liberty Party struggled with the demands of change – to let go of the old in order to embrace the new; to find and situate ourselves in a new democratic culture so that the opposition, of which we are an intrinsic part, can truly represent a real alternative to the ruling establishment and its undemocratic practices. We struggled with making the required changes we needed to make to transform ourselves into the party of the future and not the past. The Liberty Party struggle came to be defined by the new values we would enshrine in our Constitution, and we have seen our commitment to the rule of law, the value which we cherish the most, tested considerably, including to breaking points, if not unwarranted political antagonism.

“At long last, the issue of which Constitution – 2015 or 2021 – is the legitimate Constitution of the Liberty Party has been resolved. The 2021 Constitution, as adopted at the Gbarnga Special National Convention, is the legitimate instrument to guide the operations of the Liberty Party. The changes our party must make necessarily begin with the laws we must all respect – the laws to define the pathway to our future. This is therefore not a personal victory. It is one that is collective and should be shared by all partisans of the Liberty Party. It is one around which, the Liberty Party ought to be reunited, and repositioned to be readier for the changes we must make to attain the future we seek for our country.

“As requested by the Justice in Chambers, we are to meet on Friday, June 3, 2022 to ascertain whether or not the Farmington Resolution restating the two amendments made at the Gbarnga Convention have been duly inserted into the Liberty Party Constitution as agreed at Farmington.

“We consider this a significant milestone in our quest to ensure that Liberty Party is managed through its Constitution with the Executive Committee being the highest Decision-Making Body outside of the Special National Convention and the National Convention, respectively. This was at the heart of the struggle in the Liberty Party. To truly survive beyond the lifespan of individuals, democratic political institutions like the Liberty Party must continue to reform itself so that power is more collectively wielded and shared.

“At its core, the essence of the Liberty Party is that political parties must belong to the people. The Liberty Party must therefore be more broadly governed by the people, if we must survive to become the true political institution we promised ourselves we would be, so that we remain responsive to the needs of the Liberian people. With this decision therefore, the people who are more broadly represented by the Executive Committee, in the absence of conventions, can more democratically manage the affairs of the Liberty Party through collective leadership, broader consultations, and duly assigned responsibilities. Indeed, democracy has triumphed.

“The Liberty Party has struggled but we have overcome the need to change ourselves. We have agreed and accepted that the democratic order we seek in the Liberian society begins with the democratic order we establish for ourselves in the Liberty Party. We have overcome, and by overcoming, we have ensured our survival and success.

“The kind judgment of history will be on the side of the Liberty Party. Not many political parties in our country can survive the need to reform itself as our party has struggled to do. As Chairman, I congratulate all of the partisans of the Liberty Party for their patience, fortitude and support. The value of each partisan to the future of the Liberty Party made our collective struggle worthwhile.

“I assure all partisans that the Liberty Party will be better because of what we have had to endure, unfortunate and stressful as it may have been.

“We wish to also express our unflinching support for the Farmington MOU which is a restatement of the decisions reached at the Gbarnga Special National Convention. This Farmington MOU was, and for us, still represents the defining pathway to the future of a more democratic Liberty Party, one which reconfirmed the leadership of our party by the people, of the people, and for the people, as opposed to authoritarianism. Indeed, truth has won, the people have won, and Liberty Party has won. With this collective victory, as we attend to healing the Liberty Party, a process to which we are fully committed, we must also extend ourselves to healing the Liberian opposition.

“In the last twelve months, as the Liberty Party has struggled, so also has the opposition community led by the Collaborating Political Party (CPP). This fact is not lost on us and confirms Liberty Party’s place as uniquely invaluable to the character and strength of the opposition community.

“This special place necessarily imposes a responsibility on the Liberty Party for which we cannot be found wanting. There is no doubt that at the heart of the CPP struggle belies the personal ambitions of individuals for positions of Standard Bearer and Vice Standard Bearer. The LP has been particularly affected by this especially after the Party decided not to field a Standard Bearer in the 2023 elections.

“It must be said, however, that our calculated decision not to field a candidate was to enable the CPP arrive at a consensus or proceed to conduct its democratic primary, as agreed, which would be acceptable to all, and keep the CPP united, as we pledged and promised to the Liberian people.

“The Liberty Party’s decision was never a product of the absence of quality leaders to contest for the CPP Standard Bearership. Unfortunately, as said, ambition is made of sterner stuffs, and as we have seen, even dishonest ones. And yet, as we resolve our own struggle, we believe we are again situated to resolve the breakdown in the CPP – at least, we remain hopeful that the Liberty Party can be constructive in such regards,” Mr. Bility remarked.

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