PLP concludes first National Convention – Elects Dr. Cassell, Others

By: Stephen G. Fellajuah

The newly established People’s Liberation Party (PLP) has concluded its two day maiden national convention held on Saturday and Sunday, November 27 and 28, 2021 with the election of its Standard Bearer and National Chairman and other Officers that will lead the party to the ensuing 2023 presidential and legislative elections and beyond.

The well attended convention attracted a large gathering especially partisans, drawn from the members of the General Policy Commission (GPC), 68 delegates, observers, from 14 of the 15 political subdivision of Liberia and also included the presence of Mr. Thomas Yaya Nimely, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rev. Emmanuel Jutonue Giddings, a defeated representative candidate of District #2, Montserrado County, among others.

In his official opening statement at the Program, Mr. Tapple E. Doe, who had hitherto acted as the Chair of the Organizing Committee and now National Chairman of the party welcomed delegates, supporters and observers to the first Convention of the party and noted that it was noteworthy undertaking in the history of the party. He the mass presence of partisans from across the country indicates their interest and importance of the convention and further demonstrates their desire and efforts to move the country forward.

“We have been planning for this day for the past eleven months, and today we are here to deliberate on issues in the interest of our dear political party. We will be electing our standard bearer, vice chairs and other officers of this party. I asked for your kind indulgence that we have a smooth election, nonviolent, that we can end up with a result that we can be proud of. With the power in me vested I declare this conversation open”, the organizing Chairman declared.

He then announced the 18 seats for grabs and gave a breakdown of the statuses of the positions to be contested for, stating that of the seats for contest, 17 were going unopposed while three persons were to vie for the position of National Youth Assembly..

As part of issues in the interest of the party and for expediency, the bylaws/ constitution was read by the Vision bearer and Political Leader of the party, Dr. Daniel E. Cassell which was followed by a motion from Amstrong Selekpoh, county Chairperson of Nimba, that the instrument be accepted, printed and copies distributed to delegates of the counties, a motion that was seconded by Anthony Mark, Gbarpolu County Chairperson and accepted and adopted by the general assembly.

Mr. Doe who before election had recused himself from the authority and turned over affairs to Mr. David G. Benitoe, Acting National Chair for International Affairs, returned to take over the convention after he and Dr. Daniel E. Cassell were elected Chairman and Standard Bearer of the Party, respectivefully.

Those elected on white ballot and inducted into office are Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, Standard Bearer, Tapple E. Doe, National Chairman, David G. Benitoe, National Vice Chair for International Affairs, Benard Benson Sr., National Vice Chair for Recruitment & Mobilization, Alphanso D. Bindah, National Vice Chair for Operation, Henry Darbee Blama, Vice Chair for Administration for Youth Assembly,

Other includes, Daniel Harris Gayou, National Secretary General, Chernor M. Jalloh, National Vice Chair for Auxiliaries, Snoh W. Jarbah, Chair for National Women Assembly, Kalifala Kromah, Vice Chair for Media Relations & Publicity, Marvis P. Massaquoi, Vice Chair for Operation for Women Assembly, Korto Massaquoi, Vice Chair for Religious Affairs for Women Assembly,

Also elected were Rosetta L. M.. Mensah, National Vice Chair for People with Disability, Dehkortee Sheriff, Vice Chair for Mobilization & Recruitment for Women Assembly, Akimi Rose Toe, National Vice Chair for Gender and Social Development, Kelvin Volar, Secretary General for National Youth Assembly, Abraham B. Zarlee, Sr., Vice Chair for Religious Affairs and Tonzeah N. Zarwolo, Chair for National Youth Assembly, who won by 42 votes, defeating Hasting Gbamon and Lorenzo T. Weah, who earned 6 and 17 votes respectively.

During the first day of the Convention, Saturday, the Chairman of the Concerned Partisans of the People’s Liberation Party Mr. Theodora J. Beyan raised a concern that the National Chairman, Mr. Tapple E. Doe should declare the position of National Vice Chair for Operation open for contest.

According to him, Mr. Tapple E. Doe and Cruso, the head of security of the Convention were constantly threatening young stalwarts of the party to stay away from the position on grounds that they have Mr. Alphonso Bindah who they believed is best suited for the position.

Mr. Bindah is a former Chief of Public Safety at the Liberia National Police, who up the day of the convention, served as Acting Vice Chair for Operation at the PLP.

Mr. Hasting Gbamon who was also contesting for the position of Chair for National Youth Assembly, alarmed over the repetition of names on the voters roll, something he said, indicated fraud and termed the process non- transparent therefore, it could not be trusted.

The concerns raised during the process stirred violent conduct among young people which disrupted the convention on Saturday. However, responding to their concerns Sunday November 28, 2021, the Standard Bearer of the party, Dr. Daniel E. Cassell expressed sadness over the action of the youth and said the incident has been investigated.

He said “Our investigation established that those who wanted to serve as Vice Chair for Operation do not meet our qualifications. They should have a security background and serve the party for at least three months. Those people do not meet requirements therefore Mr. Alphonso Bindah will be endorsed because he meets all the benchmarks”, Dr. Cassell noted.

“The Vice Chair for Operation needs to have a security background to provide security advice to the Standard Bearer and the party at large. People should not use their personal disagreements with anyone to deprive the rights of others, he added.

He continued, “The Chairperson for the Youth Assembly for Montserrado County will not be endorsed today because there was a violation of human rights and we are investigating these concerns. Having said that, we now declare this voting process open and endorse Mr. Alphanso Bindah as the Chair for Operation”, he concluded.

The People’s Liberation Party (PLP) was accredited and certificated by the National Elections Commission (NEC) in December 2020 as a full flesh political party in Liberia and the convention marked the final stage of it functioning as a political party which will field candidates in elections under the laws of the country.

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