Will Bility Support UP’s Koon for House Speakership? -Uncertainty Looms as Nimba D-7 Rep. Joins UP Alliance
MONROVIA: A fortnight ago, when Nimba County District 7 newly elected Representative Musa Hassan Bility announced his bid to contest the Speakership of the House of Representatives, bookmakers began upping their stakes on the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Chairman. But even as the euphoria over Bility’s House Speakership bid pronouncement heightened, Mr. Bility has now disclosed that he is joining the incoming ruling Unity Party Alliance to wrestle the speaker position from Cllr. Fonati Koffa who is heavily supported by the outgoing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) party.
Carefully evading questions about whether he is still in the race for the House Speakership, Representative Bility told journalists over the weekend following discussions with Unity Party Alliance and other like-minded legislators that his decision to join forces with the UP Alliance was based on due diligence that informed his decision.
“I have not dropped my arms. I have agreed; we and the Unity Party Alliance, that together is the only way we can attain the leadership of the House,” remarked the CPP National Chairman.
“This Alliance will win the leadership of the House, I guarantee it. The Alliance appreciates the fact that they need other political parties and other people in an alliance, and that’s the difference between them and the CDC.
“We have talked with everybody. We have talked with the CDC. All I know is that the Unity Party Alliance is more receptive, more reasonable, and more pragmatic,” Mr. Bility said.
Explaining further, Bility said the Unity Party Alliance and his camp have realized that they can only win if they get together. “And that is what we have unanimously agreed to do. The outcome will be transmitted to the media within the next 48 hours.
“We can say that Musa Hassan Bility of the CPP and his supporters of 21 lawmakers have agreed to join the Unity Party Alliance to form a collaboration in quest for the Speaker and Deputy Speakership respectively. Whatever has been agreed will be transmitted in the press release within the next 24 hours,” Bility intoned.
Speaking to critics who might feel that his decision to support the Unity Party Alliance’s quest for the House Speakership is not done in good faith, Bility disagreed, saying his decision is a good sign.
“It means that the UP Alliance appreciates constructive opposition, and there are no permanent opposition; rather, there are oppositions based on standing and issues. Right now, the Liberian people have decided who their leaders are and who the head of the state is. Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai has been elected, and so, objectively, all of the lawmakers are trying to make sure that we move Liberia forward irrespective of political parties,” Mr. Bility stated emphatically.
On the question regarding whether his endorsement of the Unity Party Alliance will affect Cllr. Fonati Koofa who was recently endorsed by 40 lawmakers, against his (Bility’s) 21 lawmakers, Bility said he is of the strongest conviction that the UP Alliance will win the House Speaker position because of their farsightedness to be all-inclusive.
“The fact that the Unity Party has 11 representatives and they chose to put together various groups shows that the House of Representatives can only work through collaboration,” Bility intoned.
Speakership Candidate Koon Speaks to the Issue
Meanwhile, the man at the vortex of the Unity Party Alliance’s push for the House Speakership position, Representative Richard Koon says he is confident that the 55th Legislature under a new group of leaders will never become the same type of rubber stamp body that operated at the whim and caprice of the Executive Branch of government.
“I want to disabuse the minds of those who believe that what happened under the speakership of the last legislature will happen in the 55th legislature. The first thing is that Hon. Bhofal Chambers was handpicked by President Weah. The difference is that the Unity Party Alliance and its Alliance were told to discuss, to have a dialogue among themselves, because we have more than four persons that had interest in the Speaker position. We had Hon. Pricilla Cooper, Sekou Kanneh, Hon Kogar and myself. So, the four of us had to sit and dialogue, because our leader told us clearly that he was not going to handpick anybody. That was what delayed us to come up with a consensus candidate. And after we reached the consensus candidate, we are happy to announce that Richard Koon is the consensus candidate that the Unity Party Alliance has agreed to.
“So, on the issue of the 55th legislature being another rubber stamp body, it’s going to be different, unlike the 54th. Our President-elect will not want to have a rubber stamp legislature; rather, he will want an independent legislature that will make decisions to help his policies and programs for a better Liberia,” Koon stated emphatically.