If anyone, be it an adherent or opponent of the People’s Liberia Party, had ever thought that business tycoon Dr. Daniel E. Cassell simply funded the formation of the party merely for charity to suffering Liberians or a giveaway to politicians to forage into its fortunes, there needs to be a rethink. Because as the PLP drives itself to its maiden convention, and many internal ambitious folks take their seats around the political chessboard, information is simmering that the Chief Financier himself will not be leaving anything to chance. Already, a few months ago, what appeared to be a “palace coup” propped up and nearly annihilated the Vision Bearer. But it was squashed decisively. Barely two weeks to the Convention, which is constitutionally an authoritative forum, PLPists have begun to plow the human reservoir of their party to figure out what is there to sell ahead of 2023. Many a times, people are asking, ‘who is Dr. Cassell’ and how does he see his political future within the party that he almost single handedly funded into existence. The Analyst leafs through the Cassell factor of the youngest political party.
From November 26 to the 28 of November this year, provisional leaders and partisans of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) will be holding their first Convention, which accord to the party, will be climaxed on November 29, 2021 with festivities at the Cassell’s Estate located in Schieffelin Township, Margibi County, Liberia
According to a press release, registration of candidates for various positions will take place between November 10-15, 2021. County officials’ elections will be held between November 12-13, 2021 and election of national officials will be on November 27, 2021.
Why the Convention
The holding of a national convention is a key requirement for every duly registered political party because it enables the party to take major decisions with the assembly of delegates which is binding on all members.
In the case of PLP, it will be electing substantive officials to replace those who have been acting in various positions.
Having elected officials recognized by the National Elections Commission (NEC) will ensure that PLP can now fully engage in political activities such as nominating candidates to contest elections in the country.
It will also give NEC the opportunity to deal with specific people when there is a crisis in the party.
Though the party was certificated over a year ago and has maintained a national headquarter as well as functioning as a political party, not being able to hold a national convention where its officials at all levels will be elected and presented to NEC has stopped the party from fielding any candidate during the 2020 Special Midterm Senatorial election and the ensuing bye elections billed for November 16, 2021.
It can also be recalled that the National Elections Commission could not entertain the complaint filed by the former Chairman of the party, Mr. Wilmot Paye and others, when they were removed by the leadership of the party because their ascendency was not done properly through the holding of a national convention.
The stakes are therefore high, given the aforementioned background, for both leaders and members, and particularly for the “Vision Bearer”, as the pending convention and the chemistry of leadership formation comes on the table.
Backdrop of Dr. Cassells Political Advent
Dr. Daniel E. Cassell is a consummate entrepreneur and humanitarian. His decision l to foray into transition into national politics was underpinned by the desire to embolden his humanitarian and patriotic services to the motherland.
It was not a surprise, therefore, why when it was still in its puberty, the PLP attracted an avalanche of following.
Having premature tumult from elements of traditional Liberian politicians who had attempted to his clean slate as a new guy on the bloc, the PLP now moves to Convention not merely to meet normal prerequisites of the country’s electoral umpire, but also to rationalize its composition and complete its birth as a formidable opposition.
Thus, the People’s Liberation Party(PLP) announced that, during the convention, it will be democratically filling key positions, such as the standard bearer, the national chairman and other corps of officers, paving the way for the party to become a full fledge political institution with all rights and privileges under the electoral laws of Liberia.
For Dr. Cassell, getting to the point of going to the national convention has not been an easy journey.
It has been a metamorphosis from one stage that connected to another unfamiliar stage. Upon his return to the country, the humanitarian turned politician was taken aback to see the level of poverty and suffering a bulk of the citizens were living under. He was touched and decided to do something to arrest the situation which fired up his imagination to form the Daniel E. Cassell Foundation using his personal resources to reach out to the people, finding one solution to another, either for individuals, groups or communities.
Since its formation in July 2020, the foundation has touched and impacted the lives of thousands of citizens across the country through donations to less fortunate groups, scholarship opportunities for grade and university students, direct interventions to communities with execution of projects such as bridges as well as support and assistance to hundreds of people to solve their problems.
It is worthy to note that due to the outreach activities devoid of discrimination, he has been criss-crossing the country to assess the needs of a cross section of citizens and communities and the journey has taken him to a larger part of the country.
His desire to join the political fray of the country has been a radical departure from what others have been doing. His has been premised on the need to provide service to the people. He has understood very well that the bulk of the citizens are poor not because they have made it their choice to be poor, but their condition was fueled by the neglect of successive administrations who have failed to provide the right leadership that can solve the problem of the people and the nation.
His understanding of the problem and the solution thereof is that there is no way meaningful breakthrough can be made if people will depend on individuals or institutions to solve the problem that has kept the citizens living below poverty line. To him, the government has a major part to play and as such it can only be possible when good and well spirited citizens take over good to change the status quo. It is at this point that he took a major step in politics by forming the People’s Liberation Party (PLP).
So far, he has been on the right trajectory to provide an alternative platform that will liberate the people from their present conditions and restore the dignity of the country
He has been outspoken on critical national issues at the time when others decided to be silent. He was one of the first political actors in the country to speak out when the country started to experience dreadful occurrences beginning with the mysterious deaths of former Central Bank of Liberia top manager, Mathew Innis, the death of four auditors killed under mysterious circumstances, the recent deaths of the late John Hilary Tubman, Rev. Dr. William R. Tolbert III, among others. Dr. Cassell even went beyond condemning the heinous acts, he also offered a bounty of LD 5 million to anyone who gave information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of those who were involved so that they will be brought to justice as well as providing scholarships and financial support to children and family members of the deceased auditors.
He has also spoken out against what he consider as “the rampant corruption and the misrepresentation of the Liberian people by the President George Manneh Weah administration”.
His political activities notwithstanding, he continues to provide succor to the Liberian people and his welfarist intervention towards the Liberian people has no bound. He has done well so far in the mass transport scheme and it has hugely impacted on the movement of people and goods both within and outside Monrovia.
Another significant take on his style of politics is not waiting to be in government before impacting on the economy, especially in finding solutions to the high level of youth employment in the country. Sometime ago, he led a high power delegation of his top party hierarchy to South Africa where he held fruitful discussions with top business executives and investors with the view of bringing them in the country to open opportunities in critical sectors of the economy.
No doubt Dr. Cassell has shifted the paradigm of how politics should be played where the need to lift the people from abject poverty is being pursued. The numerous citizens that troop to the national headquarters of the PLP on a regular basis seeking for membership points to the fact that the party is widely being accepted by the people. More than that the people are seeing truly in the philosophy of Dr. Cassell as the political leader and vision bearer to be the man who has what it takes to right the wrongs from the past and reset the country on the path of greatness. It will not be surprising, that as the nation looks towards the hosting of its first national convention, the People’s Liberation Party will overwhelmingly vote Dr. Cassell to lead the party in 2023 and bring the much needed and real change the country deserves.