Liberia: 'Lack of Leadership in Liberty Party'

-- Says Sen. Kaipay, accuses Sen. Dillon of being main architect

Days after being accused of lack of party discipline and a deviant, Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan L. Kaipay, has said there is a lack of Leadership in the Liberty Party of which he is a stalwart.

"I think there is a problem in the party, and I think that problem is due to the lack of leadership in the party; I think if we have a good leadership, a leadership that reconciles, listens, embraces peoples; that can move forward, reconcile and move the party in the right direction; if that leadership problem is solved, I think the party will remain great and unity will be achieved," Senator Kaipay told a news conference yesterday at the Capitol Building.

As a grassroots founding member of the Liberty Party, Senator Kaipay refuted public accusation by his fellow Senator and partisan, Abraham Darius Dillon, that he lacks party discipline and is a deviant, evident by his (Dillon's) claims that he (Kaipay) has persistently voted against his party's mandate.

The Grand Bassa County lawmaker asserted that if there was any one who lacks party discipline and can be called a deviant is Senator Dillon, whom he recalled as a LP stalwart, abandoned his party in the middle of campaign during the 2011 Presidential and Legislative elections to join the Unity Party.

"Is that party loyalty?" Kaipay wondered. "Is that someone who has moral and the ground to question my integrity as relates to deviant behavior? That was an act of being deviant, not being disciplined as a partisan."

Kaipay, however, admitted that he briefly left his party for Unity Party, but has remained a devoted member of his party since his return.

Senator Kaipay clarified that there was never an executive party meeting where LP lawmakers were instructed to vote as a unit on an issue and he deviated, recalling the recent Senate decision to reject the nominee for the post of Chairman of the National Elections Commission.

"The assertion by my colleague, Senator Dillon, that our executive committee instructed us how to vote in the passage of the recast budget is a lie; nor did the lawmakers ever met where instruction was given as relates to the passage of the recast budget that I did not implement, for which I was described by him as a deviant," Kaipay intimated.

Senator Kaipay, who chairs the Senate Committee on Maritime, told journalists yesterday that citizens of Grand Bassa County have condemned Senator Dillon's recent accusation against him in a live radio talk show in Buchanan.

"The Bassa people have informed me to let the public and Senator Dillon know that it is unacceptable for Dillon to defame the character of their lawmakers, and they are taking it as a serious warning, " Senator Kaipay disclosed.

Kaipay clarified claims that Senators received US$17,000 each as an inducement for the passage of the recast budget, saying the amount was their legitimate entitlement that is intended to be used for gasoline, scholarship and other things. He, however, said he is yet to receive that amount due to current budget arrangements.

He then wondered whether Senator Dillon has informed the public about how much he received, which is US$8,000, and not US$6,500 as he initially claimed.

"I think our colleague is misinformed and he needs to get to understand what legislative politics is, so that he gets his feet down in order to be able to serve the people of Montserrado very well. To do that is to build camaraderie, be a team maker, coordinate and then build a spirit that your colleagues will support your attitudes, but not to tear them down or bring them down."

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