LRP Sells Out to Allen Brown? -Party Terms Salee, Others T’Burg Convention Illegitimate -But Salee Reacts Harshly

MONROVIA – The Liberia Restoration Party (LRP), one of the country’s fledgling democratic institutions, has lodged a formal complaint to the National Elections Commission (NEC), urging the elections authority to stop Mr. Gabriel Salee and a few of his cohorts from illegally representing the party following a convention they held in Tubmanburg early March, which saw Mr. Allen Brown emerging as Standard Bearer/Political Leader of the LRP. “Brown paid US$19,500 to get that position,” LRP Secretary General Alfred K. Gayflor told this paper yesterday.

In a strongly worded communication to the NEC dated Friday, March 3, 2023, the LRP also charged Mr. Salee and some of his supporters for creating division within the party.

“We the members of the Executive Council of the Liberia Restoration Party whose names and signatures are below affixed to this letter, write to bring to your attention the illegitimate representation of our party by one Mr. Gabriel Salee and few of his cohorts. Mr. Salee and his followers are determined to create division amongst members of the party and bring it into disrepute as clearly demonstrated by his recent planned unconstitutional Convention being organized and carried out in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, without any Executive Council Resolution as provided for by our constitution,” the LRP communication to NEC stated unequivocally.

“In view of the above, and in order to protect our party from further division, we pray your honorable office to stop all business activity with Mr. Gabiel Salee in the name of the Liberia Restoration Party as he is not a legitimate leader of the Liberia Restoration Party,” stated the LRP letter to NEC, signed by Founding Chairman Reverend Jomah Woiwor; General Secretary Alfred K. Gayflor and others.

Speaking to The Analyst, Mr. Gaylor said the Liberia Restoration Party had been embroiled in internal political turbulence since 2017 due to negative propaganda amongst party officials. According to Gayflor, it was in the midst of the LRP political turbulence that Gabriel Salee decided to get back to the party and run it as chairman void of any resolution.

“Weeks ago, some friends called me and we decided to get back to Gabriel and talk. But I felt that Gabriel felt intimidated.  However, we agreed to meet and allow him to hold on. Others objected that he took over the party illegally. In the wake of these developments, Gabriel organized a convention and got some people and charged them $19,500 each to run on the party ticket during the primary. Three people paid.

“Some executive members told the party that what they did was wrong without involvement of the Executive Committee. We sent our position to NEC about what we wanted to do before going to court. We are waiting to hear from NEC tomorrow. Gabriel has been carrying on convention in Tubmanburg from 1-4 March to get a standard bearer. The guys came from the United States to run as standard bearers of the LRP.

“Our position is clear that Gabriel is an imposter; he has never been a member of the Executive Council and cannot convene a convention. We wouldn’t want to expel him. If he wants to join the party, he can join the party. But the court will decide the final outcome,” Mr. Gayflor said.

When contacted, Salee dispelled the accusations as baseless, claiming that LRP does not recognize those who allegedly wrote such a letter to the National Elections Commission.

“We don’t know Alfred Gayflor. NEC is the authority, and they were invited to our Convention in Tubmanburg. I will not dignify anything from Gayflor,” Selee informed this paper.

According to Mr. Salee, the Convention outcome saw Mr. Allen Roosevelt Brown being voted as Political Leader of the LRP, having won three other candidates. Out of 123 ballots, Brown got 58 votes while McDonald Wento got 31 votes. The rest of the votes fell to Christopher Nippy and John Bleah.

“The process was 100% transparent. It was observed by the National Elections Commission,” Salee said, noting that the Executive Council has been working with his team for the past five years, and that the aggrieved individuals comprised those that had abandoned the LRP over the years.

“Some of them abandoned the party for the past five years,” Salee stated.

It can be recalled that the leadership of the LRP in 2017 fell out over the election of Madam MacDella Cooper as its Standard Bearer and Political Leader, who was widely criticized for buying her way into the LRP hierarchy due to cash violence. Cooper would later leave the imbroglio to form her own Movement for One Liberia (MOL).

As for the reportedly controversially elected Allen Brown, many see him as a political outsider who has been out of the country for more than 14 years following the controversy that embroiled him in a soured rice importation deal during the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf era.

“This is the person you put on the party presidential ticket while they are in the USA. And he came back two days to convention after staying out of the country for more than 14 consecutive years, not being back at least one time. That’s complete stupidity,” says Stanford Sandimane.

Comments are closed.