“LP Never Left CPP” -Bility, Says “No One Can Change It”

MONROVIA – In the aftermath of the National Elections Commission’s recent decision to acknowledge receipt of the new Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Framework Document through its Chairman Musa Hassan Bility, and the subsequent exception of Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence to the NEC communication to Mr. Bility in which she threatened legal action against the electoral body, Liberty Party and CPP Chairman Bility says, as National Chairman of the Liberty Party, he is not aware that the LP ever left the CPP; rather, it was the Unity Party (UP) and the All Liberia Party (ALP) that made their respective decisions to exit the collaboration. Mr. Bility furthered that no one can ever change the decision outside of the laid down process that will remove the LP from a political marriage that was approved by the National Executive Committee as was mandated by the national convention.

Speaking on a live radio talk show on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 in Monrovia, Mr. Bility who initially said he did not want to respond to the letter written by Senator Lawrence to the NEC because it was not addressed to him, however said he could only provide information to the public as to what the senator was not telling them and wondered whether those who normally write the letters or communications for her could think.

“So, the people who normally write the letters for Nyonblee don’t think too? When did LP leave the CPP? You know we went to Bassa and joined the CPP from there. We went to the National Convention in Gbarnga, the national convention authorized the National Elections Commission (NEC) to join the CPP.

“How can you say I took the Liberty Party to the CPP? LP has never withdrawn from CPP. When I became Chairman, Nyonblee became the Chairperson of CPP and from that time up to now, I have not signed any document to NEC authorizing the withdrawal of LP. We have never had a convention, where the convention says go and withdraw the party.

“We have always been part of the CPP and one thing that is baffling me is that when we signed the CPP document she actually wrote NEC about two to three weeks ago, and NEC replied her, but she failed to show the reply of the letter. This is sickening. She told NEC that the CPP document Bility presented did not represent the LP. No, LP has never left the CPP”, Bility said.

He further maintained that for the LP to legally leave the CPP as required by law, it has to go through a process where the national executive committee headed by the national Chairman will sign the resolution and pull the party out.

“You saw we went to court recently when the Unity Party and the All Liberia Party said they were getting out of the CPP, but where were Nyonblee and her people? Everything happened and the court said UP and ALP have the right to leave because those parties met the requirement as the Supreme Court saw it fit for them to leave the coalition”, Bility said.

Providing clarity whether he was not acting contrary after the Supreme Court ruled that the framework document of the CPP was not binding, and that, in fact certain aspects of the document violated the constitution on freedom of association, Bility said that they were mandated by the Supreme Court that certain aspects of the CPP document were illegal and that there was no way the CPP would have functioned unless they make changes to the document and the amendment that was done and lodged with NEC was just an undertaking with respect to the new framework document as was advised by the Supreme Court.

Bility who has been busy in recent time with series of engagements in Nimba County where he received a petition to contest the 2023 as representative candidate for District #7 said they neither went to go to the Supreme Court to dispute the position of Nyonblee at the time nor did she too challenge her suspension as being illegal, but went there to challenge issues she had with the constitution.

“The two conferences were to resolve the constitution issue and we acted in accordance to make the corrections as was recommended by the Farmington meeting. So, there were no issues after we did what we could do. In fact, the Justice in Chambers said the 2015 constitutions they were talking about did not make sense since there was a 2021 constitution that we all agreed to accept the corrections that needed to be made. So, they are now leaving the constitution and talking about the CPP document. Their concern has no magnitude”, he said.

When asked if there was any possibility for peace in the Liberty Party, especially to settle the confusion within the leadership, Bility said that he may not understand what was being referred to as peace, but “we will not compromise the law because of one person”.

“We will not allow Nyonblee, and I am mentioning her name because she is the only person who conducts activities in the name of the party that she has no authority to do. That is the end now. We will take appropriate action to stop her from impersonating on behalf of the party”.

Bility also took serious issues with the senator for “impugning the character of the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission” after she accused NEC that by admission and omission, as the principal enabler of the actions of Mr. Bility, to disintegrate Liberty Party; stating how Nyonblee alleged that Musa Bility “secure a criminal appearance bond for madam Davidetta Brown-Lasanah when she was criminally indicted by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission for influence peddling and conflict of interest”.

“I was taken aback that she would impugn the character of the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Mrs. Davidetta Brown Lassanah, a fellow female whom the government wanted to remove by force through all kinds of manner. I can tell you, that I have never sat with her before, but I moved in because as an opposition leader what they were doing to her was affecting the democratic process and you went on to try to tarnish her name. That is not fair”, Bility said. 

Several callers to the program made passionate appeals to Bility and other leaders in the party to see reasons to bury the past and forge ahead as the 2023 elections draw nearer.

One of the callers, Emmanuel Azango , a party faithful who in fact instituted legal action to challenge the legality of the 2021 national convention but lost the case in court appealed to Bility to embrace peace just as he did to others to come on board and settle the protracted confusion in the party.

“I want to appeal to you and others to bring this whole thing to an end. The most annoying part is when I see CDCians playing fun with our institution. It bothers me a lot. There are issues we need to resolve and I hope you will be able to embrace suggestions for lasting peace in our party”, he said.

Bility, knowing him, said Azango was free to see or call him at any time and that he was willing to support whatever means Azango wanted to use to bring peace to the party.

The statement from Senator Lawrence had indicated that by the latest action of the NEC, it is now even more conspicuous that the Chairman and Members of the Board of Commissioners have elevated their conspiracy with Mr. Bility to render Liberty Party inconsequential to the 2023 General and Presidential Elections by keeping the institution in perpetual conflict.

“How could an Election Management Body that is charged with the responsibility to exercise a duty of prudence be so parochial in its judgment? Did we not notify the NEC that Mr. Bilitty’s latest action violated the very Constitution whose correction he participated in, following his admission to altering provisions of the document? Did the NEC entertain any conference or hearing between the two parties to dispose of the issues raised?

“It is unfortunate that the credibility and neutrality of the NEC, a supposed integrity institution created by law to protect our promising democracy, has been eroded in broad daylight.

“Therefore, given the relentless determination of the National Elections Commission to prolong the crisis in Liberty Party at the directive of Mr. Musa Bility and his benefactors, the National Leadership of the Party headed by its Political Leader, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, is constrained to announce a string of political and legal actions to be taken against the unwarranted intrusion of the NEC into the internal matters of the Liberty Party. The date for these unspecified political actions will shortly be announced and the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice will be duly informed”, the statement said.

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