Liberia: Up Chairman Paye Suspended

The former ruling Unity Party (UP) has with immediate effect suspended indefinitely its Chairman, Wilmot J.M. Paye.

A release issued by the National Executive Committee of the party notes that Chairman Paye's suspension came as a result of his "Unilateral decision taken to hold a press conference in which he called on the UP partisans in the name of the party to stay away from the peaceful assembly of Liberians organized by groups of Liberians under the Council of Patriots (CoP)."

It can be recalled that while everything was being set by the CoP for the January 6 protest against bad governance, former Chairman Paye came out in the last hours to call on all UP partisans to stay indoors, with a warning that the party does not want to see any of its members wounded or facing any problem.

It is not clear what led to the suspended Chairman's decision after the UP, as part of the four Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), has been fostering the agenda of the Council of Patriots to protest against the George Weah Administration for bad governance and rampant corruption.

It can be recalled that while the day for the protest was drawing nigh, Paye was accused by Rufus Neufville who broke away from the CoP earlier that he (Paye) received some amount of money from the government to boycott the protest, a statement that Wilmot Paye categorically denied.

"The Executive Committee considers Wilmot's pronouncement in a press conference held on January 5, 2020 as gross insubordination to both the Executive Committee and the entire party," the communication noted.

While suspended Chairman Paye was calling on partisans of the UP to stay away from the protest, the political leader of the party, former Vice President Joseph Boakai was also telling the public that the right to protest is a constitutional right and that partisans wishing to form a part would do so in confines of the Constitution.

It has also circulated in the corridor of the party that the standard bearer emeritus, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Paye have not been relating well; something that the former President holds against him strongly that she had reportedly recommended his removal from the chairmanship.

The Executive Committee, meanwhile has constituted a Special Committee to investigate the motive for Chairman Paye's unilateral decision on such critical national issue. The Chairman will remain suspended until the committee can complete its investigation and report findings within a period of two weeks for further actions. Members of the committee include Dabah Mabande Varpilah, Chairperson; Cllr. Peter Bonah Jallah, Legal Advisor; Cornelia Kruah-Togba, Secretary; Richard Nagbe Koon, member; and Loseni Sayon, member.

The UP National Executive Committee, meanwhile, has voted to lift the suspension of Partisan Whroway Bryant. The lifting of the suspension means that Whroway will immediately resume his position as Vice Chairman of the National Youth Congress of the Unity Party.

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