Liberia: Flunkies

The resurrected chairman of the National Patriotic Party, one of the three parties from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change says opposition political parties supporting street protests against the current administration are flunkies in politics.

Mr. James Biney whose expulsion was overturned recently by the National Elections Commission following a protracted internal battle in the NPP, says opposition politicians should not be fooled, as what they could not get at the ballot box, they wouldn't get by protesting in the streets.The former lawmaker is seeking senatorial seat in his native Maryland County come the 2020 special senatorial poll.

Chairman Biney, who served in the House of Representatives for over 12 years, stresses that the way to removing a duly elected government from power should be thru the ballot box rather than street protests and members of the opposition should wait for the next presidential election in 2023 to make that decision.He argues the opposition community is afraid to wait because it is clear that it will be whipped again, this time around, massively.

"They will be beaten because while leaders of the ruling Coalition are thinking and planning, they are using the radio to curse, creating chaos and protesting which cannot be a help come 2023 elections. Because of the global economic meltdown, the CDC government is experiencing some challenges but things will soon get on course. Those of us from the NPP remember within two years after our elections in 1997, opposition started calling us names - dictator, tyrannical and all sorts of names", he recalls.

He continued that within that period, the criticism resulted to arm struggle and currently, opposition leaders are introducing some of those methods again, but warns them to be reminded the NPP is part of the current ruling establishment and they must bewared.

"They must be reminded that the NPP is part of the Coalition. They must not be fooled; what they failed to get at the ballet box will [never] be delivered to them through street protests; that's impossible. At the Liberian Legislature to remove a leader is by the House's rules, and for government the Constitution is clear, only through elections. They must not be fooled. The NPP is part and they know our capacity when it comes to these political tactics," he asserts.

According to Chairman Biney, the opposition community does not love Liberia, but notes there are some people, including civil servants who have genuine concerns, and government should detach those people from those he terms troublers, who take pleasure in creating unnecessary tension.He says government employees with concerns should utilize their respective leaders to engage government so that their concerns can be addressed but to take the streets is unfair to the government.

"We have President, who grew up in Clara Town, who knows what it takes to go to bed with hunger, lack of children's school fees, but those causing the noise do not know anything about hard times or suffering. People did not suffer throughout their lives shouldn't claim that they know and understand the plight of the people than we do." Turning to the NPP, Chairman Biney reflects that the party had political battle internally for over a year but has pulled itself together and produced the current Vice President, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor.

According to him, the NPP is the only political party in recent contemporary politics that won the presidential election with over 75 percent margin.He brags the NPP operates on merits and participation of partisans, citing himself as a practical example, where he started as youth league leader in Maryland, later county chair, then vice chairman and now national chairman.

"We have to envisage challenges ahead of the party and the country; the Coalition should put itself together as ruling establishment. Few years ago, the NPP was in political crisis; today, we produced the first female and current vice president of Liberia," Biney recalls.

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