Liberia: NPP Charles Taylor’s Party Convention Rejected

Staff Report

The National Elections Commission (NEC) has said it will not honor the result of the just-ended convention of the National Patriotic Party, aiming to end a two-year rift within the former ruling party.

The NPP has endured months of upheaval over leadership squabble and had hoped the biennial 6th Convention would have ended the imbroglio, but the NEC has nullified the outcome of the Tuesday polls, which drew dozens of partisans that produced Representative James Biney of Maryland County as chairman.

The Commission said it did not acknowledge the result of the NPP convention as it contravened every structure put in place. “They violated the recommendations and this is unacceptable. Each aggrieved side was required to submit three names each to add to the other numbers. The NEC has been trying to resolve the problems, but they don’t want to follow recommendations,” NEC’s Communication Director Joey Kennedy told newsmen Wednesday.

“The NEC is not going to recognize the decision from that convention. Whenever decisions are taken they have the right to talk to the authority. “We did not send observers because decision that was taken by the Board of Commissioners fortnight ago said the NPP was in violation of the recommendation that was intended to resolve the crisis in the party. There are series of complaints coming from members of that party following its convention. They have been coming intelligently with complaints,” he indicated.

Besides, the NEC spokesman said the NPP also violated its own constitution in terms of the time it supposed to go to convention to elect a new leadership, stressing “The NPP constitution says biennial convention should be held in December in year election will be held. This is a flagrant violation of the party’s constitution.”

However, NPP’s Secretary General, Andrew Peters, who served as Acting Chairman during the convention, dismissed the NEC’s claims, arguing that the disputed sides were represented at the convention as mandated by the Commission.
“There is no reason of mind for such. We will not accept that,” Peters remarked. “What we wanted to have been done was to make the two sides come together. The judge cannot determine on an issue that is not before him.”
The complaint filed by the aggrieved side, he said, speaks of the tenure of the vice chairman (not named), accusing resigned Chairman Cllr. Theophilus Gould of continuing to delay the election.

Peters said the party went to the convention based on a decision of its executive committee, a decision he claimed the NEC acknowledged. “The NEC did not do justice to the NPP; the arguments raised in those proceedings were not the decision. I challenge the NEC to produce that record. It was not in the opposing party complaint,” Peters added.

“NEC wants to dissolve our party, it was based on this decision we acted the manner and form to maintain the integrity of our party. “We wrote NEC; the aggrieved sides did a joint resolution and we submitted it the NEC, saying we have resolved our crisis,” he said.
“NEC is an entity that can be sued and taken to court. They don’t feel that they have all the authority and their decision is just the final. We will consult our legal people on this matter.”

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