The New Dawn (Monrovia)

9 November 2012

Liberia: Gontee Extends Olive Branch to PYJ, Others

The Executive Committee of the National Union of Democratic Progress or NUDP has extended an olive branch to the political leader of the Party, Senator Prince Y. Johnson and those it called his followers, who divided the party.

The NUDP has been engulfed in leadership crisis after the general and presidential elections in 2011 with some of its executives accusing the political leader of unilaterally steering the affairs of the party.

The Executive Committee of the NUDP headed by Secretary General Gontee Meddricks, said Johnson had earlier divided the party by hosting his own convention in Nimba without the consent of the legitimate Secretary General and the chairman of the party.

Senator Johnson's controversial convention held in Ganta, Nimba County early this year has been annulled, following a 90-day hearing by the National Election Commission.

The NEC began hearing into complaints filed by aggrieved executives of the NUDP on September 2, 2012 represented by Attorney James N. Jensen, while the party's political leader Prince Johnson, who unilaterally initiated the Ganta Convention, was represented by Counselor S.L. Lofen Kaneh, Jr.

The commission disagreed with the defendants on their contention that the complainants' failure to attend meeting is a neglect of their responsibility to the party, noting that equally important is the fact that the defendants themselves have acknowledged that the party is engulfed in an internal conflict as evident by they themselves establishing a reconciliation committee.

Making reference to the Black's Law Dictionary Special Deluxe Fifth Edition, it noted that a reasonable mind will not conclude that the complainants while neglecting their duty to the party, will advance suggestions geared towards resolving the conflict within the party.

NEC has maintained that Mr. K. Gontee Meddricks remains the secretary of the party until a convention is held, mandating him and other members of the executive committee to take the NUDP to convention since the party Chairman has resigned his post during the hearing.

"Well, Senator Johnson and all those he fool are wholeheartedly welcome back to the party; this party is everyone party; the Senator should note that he cannot operate without the rule of law. We all will go for that convention and those who supposed to be elected will be and not those senator Johnson wants to see," Gontee said.

He noted that the senator's illegal convention brought serious division among members of the party, something he described as ungodly behavior.

The Secretary General disclosed plan to host a reconciliation meeting that will bring together all members of the party to move forward. He added that after that reconciliation meeting, the party will then move to conduct a legitimate convention of a new team of party executives.

Gontee has meanwhile encouraged those, who according to him, Senator Johnson misled to the self-proclaimed convention in Ganta to contest for those positions being illegally occupied.

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