NEC Mandates PLP Hold Convention -Says Wilmot Paye, et al Not Recognized

As one of Liberia’s newest and seemingly formidable political institutions continues to gather support from across the country and win over more members, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has ordered the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) to take the party to convention, and to among other things, adopt the party’s constitution and elect its new corps of officers, in line with Chapter II, section 2.9 of the NEC Regulations and Guidelines to Political Parties and Independent Candidates. The Analyst has also gathered that the NEC failed to recognize sacked PLP Acting National Chairman Wilmot Paye and other executives that recently filed a complaint to that electoral body.

The mandate from the NEC to the PLP comes on the heels of a complaint filed recently by Mr. Wilmot Paye concerning his alleged unlawful removal as Acting National Chairman, along with the Acting National Vice Chairman for Political Affairs, the Acting General Secretary and the Acting Youth Congress Chairman.

According to our sources that are closely aligned with the NEC and PLP, the electoral body held a conference on August 30, 2021 with the PLP Organizing Chairperson, Mr. Tapple E. Doe, and Mr. Wilmot Paye to address a complaint from Mr. Paye and others, that they had been illegally removed from their positions.

During the said meeting, the NEC reportedly acknowledged receipt of a communication on 25 August 2021 under the signatures of Mr. Tapple E. Doe and Dr. Daniel E. Cassell of the People’s Liberation Party, informing the Commission that Mr. Wilmot J.M. Paye was appointed pursuant to a written instrument and subsequently relieved of the same.

Accordingly, during the meeting, Mr. Wilmot Paye and others confirmed their communication dated 1 August 2021 to the NEC relative to their alleged removal; while Mr. Tapple E. Doe also confirmed the PLP communication to the NEC concerning the removal of Mr. Wilmot Paye as Acting Chairman.

The NEC further stated that in consideration of its findings, it referred member of the party present to Chapter II, Section 2.9 of the Regulations and Guidelines to Political Parties and Independent Candidates which states, “once accredited, the leadership of the organizing committee of every newly accredited political party shall be required to take the party to convention not later than six months following its accreditation, to among other things, adopt the party’s constitution and elect its new corps of officers”.

“We noted that in keeping with practices and procedures at the NEC, when a new party, such as PLP is certificated, the organizing committee is charged with the responsibility to take the part to convention to elect the party’s officers/officials and duly communicate same to the Commission,” the NEC noted in its formal response to the contending parties that attended the August 30, 2021 conference.

The NEC furthered that despite the nomenclature the organizing committee may ascribe to members, the records at the NEC show that the PLP has not held the required convention; and has not elected its officers/officials; and that, assuming that the PLP had met the requirement of holding its convention and adopting its by-laws, the NEC would have referred the party to Chapter III, section 3.3 “Handling of Disputes in Political Parties of the Regulation and Guidelines Relating to Political Parties and Independent Candidates.”

“This provision provides that a member must first file her/her complaint with the party,” the NEC stated, requesting that the organizing committee of PLP ensures full compliance to Chapter II, Section 2.9 of the Regulations and Guidelines Relating to Political Parties and Independent Candidates.

Public Reaction

With the PLP interim leadership brouhaha seemingly settled, Liberians are concerned about the fate of political institutions whose activities and survival are dependent on the patronage of a few individuals.

“What is happening in the PLP is not strange to our body politic. It’s the same way other parties muscled out individuals that the party had differences with. Wilmot Paye is not a stranger to what happened,” Justin Kemokai of New Kru Town said.

“Mr. Daniel Cassell seems to be a good man, but he has to be very careful how he goes about bringing people around him. This too is Liberia,” remarked Francis Kuku Doe of Benson Street, Central Monrovia.

It can be recalled that the PLP recently sacked its Acting National Chairman along with other executives over what the party termed as grossly violating the constitutional rights of several members of the PLP, occasioned by countless complaints brought against him by some members of the PLP Governance Policy Commission (GPC).

Other executives were similarly axed for acts inimical to the doctrine, values and goals of the PLP.

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