“LP Will Reconcile”:  Charlyne Brumskine -Says She Pushed Reconciliation to Her Own Detriment

MONROVIA – The opposition Liberty Party might be considered one of Liberia’s most formidable political institutions, through which its founding father, the late Counselor Charles Walker Brumskine, groomed men and women to not only democratically contest state power and change the lives of the citizenry for better, but to always by guided by the party’s overarching principle of reconciliation. Like her father before her, Cllr. Charlyne M. Brumskine is today fighting for the survival of her father’s legacy, as power struggle threatens to tear the Liberty Party right in the center. But Charlyne says she is one hundred percent confident that the LP will survive, given the recent gains of reconciliation made by sides of the divide, and her own effort in the reconciliation process, pursued at her own detriment.

According to the Louis Arthur Grimes Professor of law who made the assertion during a live interview on the US-based SKTV, the LP is making tremendous progress towards reconciliation.

“We are making tremendous progress towards reconciliation. Cllr. Charles Brumskine and the original drafters of our mission statement, placed in there our 4Rs, and the first one is reconciliation among the Liberian people and particularly within the party. As many of you may know, I have pushed for reconciliation since last year. I pushed reconciliation even to my own detriment. Because there are people today in the Liberty Party who are very unhappy with me because they felt that I should not have pushed for reconciliation; that I should have chosen their side. I got a lot of lashes for calling for reconciliation, but I do not regret it because that was what Cllr. Brumskine would have done.

“I think both sides are having conversations, and I am very hopeful that very soon we will see a unified, reconciled Liberty Party. I am doing my best. Even last night we had a meeting with a group of hardcore Liberty Partisans who are just fed up with the fighting and public display of bickering.

“The problem with LP is that we have been split by competing interests external to us. Some people want to go one side, others want to go the other side. This should have never happened. There should have been a collective decision as to how the party would have gone. And if we could not have come to one concept then we should have said, ‘well, Cllr. Brumskine has done his part, it is now left to the people to decide. The Liberty party partisans can vote on where they want to go’. If we had a guarantee or commitment from any political institution that the LP was going to be the VP candidate for the other political institution through the CPP, then there would not have been any internal wrangling. But if there had been no obvious commitment made from any political party to the partisans of the LP, that they were going to pick someone from their institution as running mate, this is why LP is in the position it is in. But we are talking. Both sides are talking. LP hopefully will be on the path of reconciliation. I know that Bility has called for it. I know that Madam Lawrence has called for reconciliation. If not, this is going to affect us in so many ways, especially in 2023. The LP won’t know where to run. There are so many implications,” Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine stated.

Quizzed about recent development regarding the estranged relationship between Chairman Musa Bility and Political Leader Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence, especially in the wake of Senator Lawrence signing and submitting a revised Constitution to the National Elections Commission without Mr. Bility’s input, but later declaring that the LP had returned to status quo ante, meaning Bility was still Chairman and she was still the political leader, Charlyne said it was right decision to return to status quo ante as the way forward to reconciliation.

“I did hear the interview where Nyonblee said Musa Bility is still the chairman. To back track, in 2017 we had substantial evidence of tremendous fraud in the elections. We took our evidence to the Supreme Court, which decided the evidence wasn’t substantial enough to overturn the election result. I was with my father in his law office at Catholic Junction when the ruling was coming down from the Supreme Court. Someone had said to us that the Supreme Court was going to rule against us. I was sitting with him when that ruling came against us. My father and all of us were devastated. But he respected the rule of law. He respected the opinion of the Supreme Court Justices. We didn’t agree with the ruling of the Supreme Court, but we respected it. There are people who I have called brother and sister, who are so incensed with me because I have not gone against the NEC ruling. And at the end of the day, no matter how much we disagree with the court, the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, NEC has been given the constitutional mandate.    There is a mandate that the NEC be set up to administer and adjudicate issues of election matters. So if NEC gives its ruling, even if we disagree, even if I feel that everyone on the NEC is corrupt, we accept the ruling. So, I have accepted. I think Nyonblee’s position is that Musa is Chairman, and I think it is the right thing to do. So now, we are finding a way to reconcile the party.

“I am hundred percent confident that LP will survive. As long as five of us are living, who believe in the founding values, the vision of the Liberty Party, the LP will survive. Even if it means some people will leave the party, if it means some people will go to other institutions,” Charlyne averred.

Political quests – Legislative vs Vice Presidential

Asked whether she had any interest in holding political office, Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine said she has been exploring the possibility of running for the House of Representatives for District #3 in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, her home.

“We are still in the exploratory stage. We believe it is important to engage. We’ve been engaging with many of the stakeholders there. As you know, demographically, Buchanan is a very youthful city, and it is an urban city like Monrovia. We have a university there now, we have trade schools, markets. But we lack substantial development. There is no reason Grand Bassa County should be where it is today. It is a beautiful place, easily accessible to Monrovia. It has a court, natural resources that ArcelorMittal is taking from us, and our people are not benefiting at the level they should be benefiting. We have had leaders at the legislative level who I believe have not done what they should be doing. One of the biggest problems we have now is the Government Hospital. We have our budget which is US$100,000. The average person makes more than that in the US. That is the budget. They lack fuel. The government hospital is now going to be charging people fees,” Charlyne stated.

Regarding whether she harbored an intention to go as running mate to any opposition political party, especially given the fact that her party chairman declared he would not accept any offer to run as VP to Cummings in the CPP, Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine carefully crafted her response by indicating that the Vice Standard Bearer issue could be at the core of the Liberty Party/CPP disintegration, though she is highly qualified to become VP in any political institution.

“First of all, there are a couple of things that happened in the LP that were absolutely wrong. A leader doesn’t make a decision without consultation. LP has a national executive committee that will make decisions. At the advisory council, we have a strong, robust group of partisans that will decide who the VP should. So, it’s not something we’ve explored. I will leave that to our people to decide. Do I think that I could be Vice Presidential material? Certainly. I am one of the most professionally accomplished women in Liberia. I literally grew up watching one of the most integral, principled leaders creating an institution from nothing to where it is. My life has resonated with many Liberians, men and women, at home and abroad. I have gone to some of the bigwigs and made connections. I am not trying to sell myself. Yes, I am Vice Presidential material. However, right now we are concentrating on reconciling our party. We just had a big meeting last night, where everyone agreed that our party needs to be reconciled. It is individual thinking that got us to where we are right now,” Charlyne Brumskine averred.

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