“Time To Reconcile, Move Forward” – Bility -Says All Legal Issues Have Been Resolved

MONROVIA – The National Chairman of the Liberty Party, Musa Hassan Bility says it is high time that all contending parties within the Liberty Party are reconciled and a forward march be embarked upon now. He furthered that all the legal issues surrounding the legitimacy of his leadership and the 2021 constitution have been resolved by the opinion of the Supreme Court during conferences held with the two factions of the party recently.

Speaking for the first time on a live phone-in program anchored on the Morning Rise segment of the Freedom Radio on Monday, July 4, 2022, after the Supreme Court denied the prohibition filed against him and Martin Kollah, National Secretary General of the Party, by Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence and others, Bility said that after the decision of the highest court, what the executive committee under his gavel has earmarked to do is to first issue an official statement informing the partisans and supporters of the party of the new development and then secondly to set up a roadmap to reconcile the party after a protracted back and forth which has affected the activities of the LP.

 “All legal issues have been resolved and this is not about winning something. We have two things to do right now. One is to issue a statement on the decision of the Supreme Court, and second is to set up the roadmap to reconcile the party. It is not about winning something. It is also important to say the decision is about the rule of law because the principle of this party is deeply rooted in the rule of law”, he said.

When asked what is the implication of the Supreme Court decision on the reconciliation he was talking about, and whether he was implying that the party was ready to undo some of the decisions taken against top members of the party including Senators Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence, Darius Dillon, Steve Zargo, etc, he aptly replied “everything is possible, we will do everything possible to reconcile the party!”

Asked specifically whether he was willing to drop the legal action instituted against Senator Dillon for allegedly defaming his character, Bility confirmed in the affirmative, adding that though it was a painful decision to take, but as a leader who wants to see the way forward, he can go the extra mile by dropping the case so that he will be able to lead everybody without any reservation.

On the future of the party within the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Bility said LP remains within the CPP, as it subscribes to the principle for which it was founded and will remain there until otherwise.

“I want you to believe that as a party, we have the right to make the decision. What we did as a party will remain and will not change. We are a member of the CPP, we will withhold the principle of the CPP. When all of these issues came about, we made a decision that we will not field a presidential candidate and this decision stands”, he said.

He said LP will explore all opportunities within the CPP to the benefit of its members while at the same time currently reviewing the framework document with the view of proposing for changes or adjustment that will reflect the reality of the day, which include bringing other new parties to the table. He however ruled out the possibility of the Unity Party and the All Liberia Party ever returning and being accepted within the CPP.

“At a particular time, you have to make a decision of how people think about you; and at this time, we have to stop making fools out of the opposition. As it is today, the best option is for the two parties to stay out while the other two stay in the CPP. We have to stop forcing them, the more we do, the more it will destroy the opposition. The structure in the other two parties will not allow a good working relationship,” Bility maintained.

He further stated that the Liberty Party remains steadfast in its decision to endorse ANC leader Alexander B. Cummings as its candidate for the 2023 Presidential elections, and will not impose on him anyone to be his running mate as the decision should be the prerogative of Cummings to choose whoever he feels suitable to be on the same ticket with him. He said what he could do if asked to recommend a suitable person was to ask Cummings to give the characteristics he needs in a running mate and he could work on that to recommend a running mate for Cummings.

Responding to a reframed question to get his view on whether both former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and Standard bearer of the UP and ANC standard bearer Alexander B. Cummings could still be on the same ballot to confront President George Manneh Weah in 2023, the LP leader said it would have been a good thing to do but there is no possibility of it happening. Bility said he wants for both of them to contest the presidency and when it comes to the second round, based on who goes through between them, the opposition can collectively support whoever emerges as contender against President Weah. He said the similar scenario played out in 2017 when the opposition bloc could not agree on a consensus candidate, a decision was reached that whoever emerges against the UP in the second round must be supported by the opposition bloc.

The astute businessman also discussed the outcome of the recent Senatorial bye-election held in Lofa County, blaming the defeat on the division of the opposition and urged the UP to accept the result, recalibrate and move forward for next time.

“I am still thinking about the logic of UP going to Lofa alone. We had an election about 5 years ago and UP in its wisdom said let us reconcile the opposition and the result was resounding across the country. There was a bye election that came out of the Midterm Senatorial election, the opposition bloc lost all the 4 seats and that was the sign from the Liberian people that if you stand together, we will stand with you. How can you come today and say we will stand alone?

“First of all, UP was played so badly by the government. One thing people are making mistakes about is the capacity of CDC. Those guys are very, very smart people. They lost Montserrado, it is clear and they are aware that no opposition party controls the capital city because it is the boiling center of political activities. So, they set out to specific areas, such as Bong and Lofa, they made an internal decision that the major source of opposition was Lofa, and they spent two years going there and doing projects there and the sons and daughters from the county were going there regularly engaging the people. That helped them during this election”, he said.

He also said there could be some internal problem within the UP because he did not see the zest in their fighting spirit to run in the election as compared to the one which was won by Brownie J. Samukai.

 Bility also said the bye election was even needless because by virtue of the President commuting the penalty of going to a light option of repaying the money at his own bargaining, it amounted to fulfilling the condition to exit the disability and the opposition should have filed for bill of information for legal interpretation of the President’s decision but the opposition did not test it. He further said the opposition as a last option stood its ground not to participate in the bye election and Samukai would still have to take his seat.

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