25 April 2014

Liberia: Liberty Party in Merger Dream

The opposition Liberty Party of ex-presidential candidate Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, has expressed its intention to form a merger with George Weah's Congress for Democratic Change or CDC ahead of the October 14, 2014 Special Senatorial Election and the 2017 presidential poll.

Liberty Party National Chairman Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa, told a news conference Thursday 24 April at his Broad Street office in Monrovia that the party is willing to work with any political party, including the CDC, but quickly pointed out there was no offer yet.

'We're willing to work with the CDC; we respect them and they too respect us. Let be clear here, the CDC or any political parties have not approached us about working together or collaboration. If you can recall, the CDC initiated working together politically but it did not work," Cllr. Kofa remembered.

According to reports, on March 24, 2014 the Liberty Party represented by its political advisor Darius Dillon, met with officials of the CDC.

Dillon reportedly held talks with CDC political leader, Ambassador George Weah; Secretary General Nathaniel McGill, Vice Chairman for Political Affairs, Sidiki Fofana, Vice Chairman for Operations Mulbah Morlu, and Youth Chair Jefferson Kojii, among others.

The meeting, which initially commenced in the office of Secretary General Mcgill, was held behind closed doors with Ambassador Weah at which time Dillon noted that after being at each others' throats in the past, it was now time for the opposition block to form a common front.

He emphasized the need for collaboration among the existing political institutions so that the presidency would not slip away again. Chairman Koffa termed Dillon's visit to the CDC as "private" but said he was fully briefed by the political advisor.

LP's ex-standard bearer Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, initiated a merger with George Weah in 2011 but that attempt failed on the contentious issue of who should become standard bearer. Both parties met in Ghana to finalize a united opposition bloc for the 2011 presidential and legislative elections. A communiqué was signed between the two to continue the process of collaboration and continuous consultations. However, what that communiqué did not address was the issue of who to lead the merger, which still remains the 64 million dollars question today.

Meanwhile, chairman Koffa is appealing to family of the late Transitional Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant to allow the Government of Liberia give him a state burial. The Bryant Family had asked the government to stay clear of the burial of the late Gyude Bryant, who reportedly died at the JFK Hospital last Thursday, 17 April.

The Liberty Party is calling on the family to reconsider their decision so the late chairman Bryant can have a befitting burial. He also said that it is now time for the Executive and the Legislature consider putting an institution in place that will handle the business affairs of all former presidents and heads of state.

Chairman Koffa described the former chairman as one of those Liberians who brought peace to Liberia. Bryant was selected by warring factions in Accra, Ghana in 2003 to head the erstwhile Liberia National Transitional Government that led the country to democratic elections and civilian rule in 2005.

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