MONROVIA – The National Patriotic Party (NPP), a constituent member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Congress (CDC) has announced the suspension of its National Chairman, Senator James Biney of Maryland County for “acts incompatible with his status as National Chairman, including his failure to honor the instruction of 2/3 majority of the NEC by not signing the Coalition Framework Document authorized by the NPP National Executive Committee (NEC)”
According to a press statement issued by the party and signed by Gus Knowlden Assistant Secretary for Press and Propaganda, the decision was reached on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at a called National Executive Committee meeting in which 2/3 membership of the National Executive Committee signed said resolution.
“The refusal of Senator Biney to sign the Coalition Framework Document after being mandated by 2/3 majority members of the NEC of the Party is in violation of section 8.7 (a) & (e) of the 2004 Constitution.
“Meanwhile, Chairman Biney has been ordered by the National Executive Committee to submit himself to the Grievance and Ethics Committee in three working days to show cause for his acts of insubordination and disrespect to the National Executive Committee, failure to do so, he shall be considered automatically expelled
“Therefore, the National Executive Committee has mandated Hon. George S. Mulbah, Vice Chairman for Administration to steer the affairs of the NPP, pending the outcome of the investigation”, the party said.
It can be recalled at the expiration of the first framework document signed by the party along with the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP), which bonded the three parties into a tripartite agreement that gave birth to the ruling CDC, Senator Biney had contended that the NPP was not in any haste to sign another agreement until a lot of issues that bordered on NPP not benefiting from the arrangement that brought CDC to power are resolved. He also maintained that the position of political leader and standard bearer of the party which Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor currently occupies had expired and could not be renewed because she had already served the mandatory two terms that could not be renewed.
These sticky issues were thorny on the way of the planned re-nomination program for President George Manneh Weah early this year but the swift last minute maneuvering efforts of key stakeholders including the Vice President saved the day and the party was able to secure the signature of 2/3 membership of the national executive committee as stipulated by the constitution of the party.
As of the time the signed papers authenticating the resolution of the NPP to commit to the new framework agreement and the renomination process, Senator remained defiant not to sign the documents and they were prompted filed with the National Elections Commission (NEC). The Analyst Checks reveal that the rest of the decision makers of the leadership besides Biney had committed themselves to the new framework agreement and endorsed the renomination of the President who will be flying the ticket of the CDC along with VP Howard Taylor as running mate for the ensuing October 10, 2023 general election.
Besides the refusal to sign the framework document, Biney’s predicament with party started with the parallel conventions that were held in October last year, where two leaderships emerged, one supported by the Vice President , headed by Cllr. Stanley Kparkillen and the other headed by Biney himself, all claiming legitimacy.
It took the intervention of President Weah to resolve the crisis after prevailing on the two parties to revert to status quo ante until after the general election. That decision implied that Biney and others who had been occupying their positions on the national executive committee should continue to do so just as VP Howard Taylor will remain the Standard Bearer and political leader until after the election.