Wisner Wants New UP Team Forge Unity -Extends New Leadership Invitation for Dialogue

As the current County Coordinator of the Liberian Renaissance Office Incorporated (LIROI) and a stalwart of the former ruling Unity Party, Mr. George Gyude Wisner II remains one of the key voices within the opposition community in Liberia. So, it was unsurprising when he rose to the occasion to not only congratulate the newly-elected officials of the just-ended Gbarnga Convention of the Unity Party (UP) and reaffirm his commitment to the founding ideals of his party and to the greater interest of Liberia, but he as well extended the new team an invitation at his residence for them to dialogue, foster unity, and give due consideration to the ideals that fostered the formation of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), under whose tent all of the constituent opposition parties benefited from, despite the ensuing differences.

Addressing the Unity Party over the weekend on the successful conduct of the party’s July 29 convention which saw a new corps of officials taking over from their colleagues while others were maintained in their positions, Mr. Wisner noted that at the onset of the previous administration, when he invited and entertained the entire leadership and the Standard Bearer’s Office at his residence, for what he thought was a good opportunity to engage and foster dialogue and unity of purpose, he is also reaching out in similar fashion to the new team.

“In fact, we have already initiated a dialogue with Rev. Tarpeh prior to Gbarnga, aimed at understanding his plans for our party. Our politics have never been and will not be about individuals and the differences we may project but about the common purposes and principles we agree to share for which the founding fathers and mothers created the UP.

“It is our hope that the new administration will adopt a positive posture, be accommodating of the critical views of others, and protect the rights of partisans to disagree on policy and principles. This was a major weakness of the out-going regime which adopted an adversarial posture to contrary views and even used surrogates to publicly attack and humiliate senior partisans who held different perspectives of how to proceed with vexing political questions, not just in the UP but also in the country. A political party must never be viewed as a cult where members are only expected to obey edicts or risk being excluded. It must be a ground for the cross-fertilization of ideas. This is how political parties grow and strengthen their institutional capacities.

“As indicated to Rev. Tarpeh and many others, my position/decision to work for opposition unity, and in this case CPP, has not changed. I believe UP’s interest, and above all, Liberia’s interest, is better served with a united front to remove the CDC from power.

“My support for the CPP is out of principles and convictions. I and the UP are original founders of the CPP; I and the UP promised the Liberian people that we will do all within our powers to remain a united force; I and the UP benefited from the CPP and the confidence of the electorates in 2020 based on such promise; I and the UP must uphold the promise we made for which the Liberian people entrusted us with their votes and the pursuit of their political aspirations.

“Secondly, as a leader of an organization, LIROI, that was conceived and established by myself and other senior members of UP and none-UP, and with the active involvement and support of the Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, his Chief of Staff, and other key advisors around him, for the purpose of galvanizing political, diplomatic, and technical support for the proposed CPP, I cannot betray that responsibility especially as we see it continues to bear fruits. The UP and the SB benefitted from such support in the initial stages. We don’t feel that personal political differences should affect the objectives of the group which has committed to protecting the interests of Liberians through the CPP. However, we still remain open to honest dialogue with the new regime about 2023.

“Again, I wish the new administration well in addressing the many vexing challenges of the Party. I also urge the partisan to be patient and give the new leadership the chance to chart a course for unity and reconciliation in the Party and the broader opposition community. Liberians are now ever more anxious about the future, beginning with 2023, than they are interested in political party wranglings,” Wisner intoned.

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