In the wake of reports that the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) has expelled its former Chairman, Mr. Wilmot Paye and others for various reasons, Paye has come up to clarify that he had actually resigned from the party by officially writing to the National Elections Commission (NEC) on September 17, 2021, of his decision and requested that his name, contacts and other details earlier submitted to NEC with respect to his position and membership of the PLP be removed from the records of the electoral body. He said in his communication to NEC that his decision should take effect on September 17, the same date his letter was written.
The PLP had through its leadership taken the decision on Monday, September 20, 2021 to expel Paye, as former Chairman, Henry Sackie, former Vice Chair for Political Affairs, Kansualism Kansuahn, former Secretary General, former Youth leader Carlos Edison Tingban and two other persons for various reasons. Paye’s letter of expulsion was communicated to him and copies were circulated to media houses, a copy of which was obtained by The Analyst.
The information of his resignation which can be found in the third paragraph of the letter, copy of which was sent to The Analyst, Paye said, “The primary purpose of this letter, Madam Chairperson, is to inform the National Elections Commission about my decision to completely dissociate myself from the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) both as its Acting/Interim National Chairperson and member, respectively, beginning effective 17 September 2021. Accordingly, I herewith withdraw my name, phone numbers and email details which were submitted to the Commission for contact and other purposes from the Official Contact List, WhatsApp Chatroom or Directory of Political Parties”
The former Chairman had recalled in his letter that on February 22, 2021, that the National Elections Commission was duly informed about the existence of a national interim leadership under his chairmanship that was charged with the responsibility to organize the first General Congress of the Party, pursuant to the 1986 constitution and the 2017 Regulations and Guidelines for Political Parties and Independent Candidates which should have been held by June 2021 but was shifted to the last quarter of 2021 after the electoral body had granted them the permission to do so.
“I appreciate that since our official introduction in February, my Team enjoyed excellent working relations with the National Elections Commission, for which reason we remain eternally grateful to the Board of Commissioners for according us, as you do to all political parties, the courtesy we received and enjoyed. It is our ardent hope that GOD ALMIGHTY will strengthen the Board as you spearhead the holding of Liberia’s fourth cycle of general and presidential elections following the end of our Civil War”.
Mr. Paye who once served as Chairman of the former ruling Unity Party and was dismissed, said while he acknowledged the Commission’s magnanimity and fairness in dealing with political parties and also in fostering the unhindered growth, development and advancement of democracy in Liberia, he was encouraging and requesting that the National Elections Commission to be mindful of tendencies that are inimical to these noble objectives.
“I therefore draw your kind attention to a growing concern my colleagues and I had expressed about premature campaigning by Dr. Daniel E. Cassell and the wrongful display of his photos without due regard for the New Election Law, which defines parameters for what constitutes campaigning. My colleagues and I tried in vain to discourage this continuous wrongful use of photographs instead of the PLP’s logo”.
He said he was concerned about what looks like violations of the Election Law and thought to alert the Commission to them, since the 2023 elections are, in his honest view, likely to generate a lot of tension and the potential for violence cannot be underestimated or overemphasized. He added that those of them in politics are under obligation to help maintain Liberia’s peace, which experts say is fragile. He noted that violations, like infections, are contagious, warning that without the necessary steps taken early, others may soon follow suit.
“Let me hasten to add, Madam Chairperson, that as part of the Interim Leadership, and based on our long experience and knowledge, we did our utmost to advise against possible violations but our counsel was ignored. I hope that the Commission will note my concern and warn political parties, would-be presidential and other hopefuls to operate within the express limits of the Constitution and Laws governing elections in Liberia”, he said.
The letter of exit from the party by Paye is already generating some sort of argument with respect to which of the two letters actually sought to effect an action before the other. A political pundit who pleaded not to be named in the press said why did Paye’s letter was not made public until PLP went public with his expulsion and also wondered why his letter of resignation was never addressed to the leadership of the party where he was a member but rather sent to the Chairman of NEC.
At the same time, Jonathan Fallah, who described himself as a realist said something must be fishy in between as his mind is leading him to believe that the leadership of PLP must have gotten hint of Paye’s letter of resignation sent to NEC and perhaps to save its face from imminent embarrassment, a prompt decision was made to expel him and his other colleagues.
Meanwhile, there is no information from the others who were equally expelled along with him if they had also tendered in their respective letters of resignation from PLP or they have decided to just leave the sleeping dog to lie down.