Major Resolutions From LP Convention -No Presidential Ticket For 2023 Elections -Endorsement of ANC’s Cummings CPP Ticket -Constitutional Reform for Progressive Party

As inks gradually dry up on controversies that initially marred the commencement of the Special Convention of the Liberty Party last week, and as the emerging issues therefrom continue to receive traction, the substantive issues coming out of that historic gathering are been more consciously beheld by the public. A deep peep at the Resolutions derived from the Conference picks up key actions that were taken and adopted by attendees drawn from across the country. Amongst those actions are the endorsement of Mr. Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress for the Collaborating Political Parties; decision not to feature a presidential candidate in 2023, and pursuing additional constitutional reform towards de-individualizing and institutionalizing the Liberty Party. The Analyst reports.

At the end of its Ganta Special Convention, the Liberty Party has unveiled the Resolution derived and how the party will be run in the coming months and years.

Decisions  from the conference contained some far reaching decisions in the interest of the party with three key resolutions: decision not to feature any Presidential Candidate in the ensuing 2023 Presidential and General elections; empowering the National Executive Committee to review and make amendments to the party’s constitution, and endorsing the Standard Bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC).

According to our correspondent who covered the event that was initially stopped by a court injunction but later on vacated after the lawyers representing the party had approached the court, the endorsement of Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings was the first decision reached through a resolution which was agreed upon by delegates who voted unanimously to pick him as the LP choice for the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), presidential ticket.

The Indications of Mr. Cummings bagging the endorsement of the LP became visible days to the National Convention, when Mr. Musa Bility, National Chairman and Acting Political Leader of the Party told the media that Mr. Cummings was invited and screened by the Liberty Party for about 8 hours to present his plan for the country and after the exercise, it was convincing to the party that he has what it takes to lead the country, hence it will not have any reservation taking the decision.

According to Conference records, the First Resolution endorsed Alexander B. Cummings and it reads as follows.

“WHEREAS, the Liberty Party (LP) is an engaged participant in the political process that defines and strengthens our national democracy; and

“WHEREAS, the LP and its members are committed to advancing an agenda focused on promoting the general welfare of all Liberians, reforming the Government to make it work for the people, reconciling the people, promoting sustainable peace, providing quality and available educational opportunity for all, lifting the disadvantaged, rebuilding the middle class, strengthening the rule of law improving the economy, and fostering democratic principles of governance; and

“WHEREAS, the 2023 presidential and general elections is a choice between a candidate who shares the LP’s vision for Liberia and candidates who do not; and

“WHEREAS, the LP assessment of contesting candidates has put in sharp contrast the difference among the candidates contesting for the presidency; and

“WHEREAS, the LP has a long and proud history of being proponents of reforming to establish justice, reconciling to ensure domestic peace, and investing in the Liberian people and promoting general welfare by rebuilding to recover; and

“WHEREAS, in the opinion of LP, Alexander B. Cummings is the only candidate contesting the presidency who understands that economic growth depends upon economic fairness, private sector development, and eliminating corruption, and who has articulated an agenda focused on rebuilding and expanding the middle class, and strengthening in public policy towards this agenda; and

“WHEREAS, Alexander B. Cummings has agreed to the LP endorsement requirements in writing”.

After giving the basis of the decision, the party then said it,

“RESOLVED, that the LP commits to working to help ensure that Alexander B. Cummings is elected president of Liberia.

“RESOLVED, that the NEC is authorized to take necessary actions in order to formalize and execute the Special National Convention’s decision to endorse Alexander B. Cummings;

“RESOLVED, that the NEC is authorized to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding for signing by LP and the endorsed candidate political party, based on the agreements and understanding of the SNC deliberations and endorsement.

“RESOLVED, that the NEC is authorized to announce this endorsement decision via a joint Press Statement given at a joint Press Conference led by the Political Leader or National Chairman and  National Executive Committee of LP and that of the endorsed candidate’s political party during which the Memorandum of Understanding will be signed publicly.

“RESOLVED, that the announcement shall highlight the decision-making process, the results of the vote, and include the reasons why LP endorsed the aspirant, particularly as regards to policy stances aligned with LP’s, and quotes from delegates and endorsed candidate

“RESOLVED, that the joint Press Statement and Conference shall include the announcement of a joint campaign team between LP and the selected candidate’s political party.

Immediately the delegates took the decision, the Secretary General of the Party, Martin Kollah, came out during the break in period to address the press of the endorsement and said it was an overwhelming decision with no objection.

The Second Resolution addressed several issues surrounding the 2021 constitution of the party which it said contained some of the challenges the party was facing and had plunged it into the lingering crisis for some time and the need to remedy the situation.

In its resolution laying out the foundational issues, the Liberty Party resolved:

“WHEREAS, the Liberty Party(LP) has had some challenges over the past several months emanating from major internal disagreements between the political leader and the National Executive Committee of unilateral decision-making by the Political leader at both the Liberty Party and Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) levels, derogatory comments made by certain party officials against other party officials, non-payment of membership dues by certain party officials which resulted in suspensions as per the LP constitution from the National Elections Commission by the Political leader, complaints by the political leader and another individual to the National Elections Commission, not in line with the internal dispute resolution mechanism prescribed in the constitution and in violation of Article XIII, “Miscellaneous Provisions” of the constitution which mandates that no LP member shall bring a complaint before an administrative body or court against the party without first making use of the internal dispute resolution mechanism; and

“WHEREAS, these disagreements have resulted in LP being viewed negatively in the public; and

“WHEREAS, the National Elections Commission has confirmed that the LP 2021 constitution filed with it is the proper constitution and that it remains so unless by amendment of through an unappealable court decision”;

The resolution of the party in proffering the way forward said,

“RESOLVED, that there is no evidence of unapproved alterations to or wrongful submission of the LP 2021 constitution;

“RESOLVED, that the LP 2021 constitution filed at the National Elections Commission is the lawful constitution of the Party;

“RESOLVED, that the NEC is hereby authorized to make amendments agreed to at the Farmington Retreat and Submit the amended constitution to the National Elections Commission as per established procedure; and

“RESOLVED, that the NEC is further authorized to review the constitution of the party and proffer recommendations for additional amendments.

Another major decision which was contain in the Third Resolution formalized the position of the party not to feature any presidential candidate in the 2023 Presidential and General election, something the party said was in contrast to Article VI (1) of the party’s constitution that it shall elect a standard bearer contest as a candidate for the position of President of Liberia.

The resolution said from the its onset,

“WHEREAS, following the January 2021 LP Special National Convention, held in Gbarnga City, Bong County from January 22-24, 2021, officials of the party, including the PL, NEC, NAC, legislators and stakeholders attended a Retreat called by the PL and held in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County on June 5, 2021 to determine whether or not LP would feature a standard bearer candidate to contest in the primary of the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) of which the LP is a constituent member, and ultimately in the 2023 presidential and General Elections;

“WHEREAS, the LP constitution provides in Article VI (1), that the party shall elect a standard bearer to contest as a candidate for the position of President of Liberia, who when elected as President shall become the political leader of the party to the end of the presidential term, and, if not elected President, shall transition to the position of political leader;

“WHEREAS, after careful deliberations, this Special National Convention determined that LP would not feature a Standard Bearer candidate in the 2023 Presidential and General Elections; and

“WHEREAS, this decision needs to be endorsed by the Special National Convention.

To resolve the issue the party said

“RESOLVED, that the Liberty Party will not feature a candidate for Standard Bearer in the 2023 Presidential and General Elections; and

“RESOLVED, that in consideration of the decision by this body not to feature a candidate and consistent with the transitional clause in Article 14 of the Constitution, which states that the Party shall elect its Standard Bearer one year before the 2023 Presidential and General Elections, October 2022, which is when the tenure of the 2017 elected Standard Bearer/political shall formally come to an end. “

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