MONROVIA—Ambassador Nathaniel Barnes has officially announced that he has taken membership in the Free Democratic Party (FDP), one of the two national political parties that is currently part of the National Democratic Coalition. Ambassador Barnes stated: “Considering the proliferation of political parties in our fledgling democracy, rather than challenging the decertification of my original party, Liberia Destiny Party (LDP) or seeking to establish yet another political party, I thought it wise to associate myself with an existing organization whose ideology, goals and objectives are extremely compatible with my vision for Liberia as we approach 2017.”
Initially, seven political parties combined to organize a formidable coalition (the NDC) for effective participation in the 2011 Presidential and general elections. However, today the NDC consists of the two parties that were most determined to build a lasting coalition: Free Democratic Party and the New DEAL Movement.
In addition to the shared view that Liberian Political parties could benefit from more mergers, Ambassador Barnes says he is impressed by the NDC ideology of social democracy which is the combination of political freedom with economic justice. According to Ambassador Barnes, the role of government is to empower the people socially, politically and economically so that they may have an integral part to play in their own destiny.
Warmly receiving Dr. Barns into the NDC, Ciapha Saah Gbollie, the Vice Chairman of the NDC stated, “we welcome Ambassador Barnes into our institution as he brings tremendous value through his experience, knowledge and vision especially as reflected in his “ covenant” with the people of Liberia. We look forward to the contribution of his leadership ability within our ranks.”
For his part, Alaric K. Tokpa, the chairman of the NDC said he was “receiving Amb. Barnes with outstretched arms as the NDC is striving to bring together well meaning, professional and nationalistic Liberians in preparation for 2017 Presidential and legislative elections.” Chairman Tokpa also disclosed that the NDC will participate.
Barnes was Minister of Finance under President Charles Taylor from 1999 to 2001. Running as the LDP Presidential candidate in the 11 October 2005 elections, Barnes placed 12th out of 22 candidates, receiving 1.0% of the vote. From 2006 to 2008, he served as the Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations, and from 2008 to 2010 he served as Ambassador to the United States.
Barnes graduated from High School at the College of West Africa before spending a term at the University of Liberia. He worked as an intern in Liberia’s banking system before eventually going to the United States for college. He earned a degree in the United States at Rider University in 1978 and an MBA from Pace University in 1979. On May 15, 2009, Barnes received an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. Barnes received his award from Dr. Mordechai Rozanski, President of the University. FPA
Nathaniel Barns pic: www.liberianjournal.com