Monrovia — The Liberty Party, a founding member of the opposition collaborating Political parties (CPP), appears to be in crisis with news surfacing that an influential member of the party is plotting to cut short the tenure of the party's Executive Committee members through a stage-managed and financial induce process.
At a news conference, Senator Steve Zargo, chairman of LP, announced that contrary to the party's constitution that calls for chairpersons of counties to serve as delegates to every executive sitting, Mr. Musa Hassan Bility, chairman of LP National Advisory Council, intersected the County Chairs in Kakata, Margibi County, where he encamped them for two nights and financially induced them.
When contacted, Mr. Bility denied the LP chairman's allegation, claiming he has no authority to call for a convention.
Mr. Bility was among several LP members who pledged support to the CDC in the runoff election of 2017. They were criticized for their actions that saw them acting outside of the Party's mandate. He later rejoined the Party after the election.
Prior to the reported camping of the county chairs, according to the Chairman Zargo, the National Advisory Council chair had dispatched the Party's vice chair for operations, Mr. Elder Jallah, to meet and concoct a petition with them -- seeking to endorse Mr. Bility as National Chairman of the Liberty Party.
"A constitution review committee with a limited mandate had also proceeded outside of its orbit, to begin planning for a special convention to be held on September 5, 2020, for the unlawful and unnecessary purpose of electing a new leadership team for LP," Zargo said.
"Where did the CRC obtain its mandate from to set convention date? Who authorized such a convention?" The Constitution Review Committee (CRC) was constituted along with the parallel committee responsible to organize an executive council sitting for the purpose of validating and adopting the revised constitution, among others."
Article VIII of Liberty Party constitution provides that the standard-bearer or political leaders may call a special session of the National Convention to be called "The Special Convention." Section two of the same article, also states that the Special Convention may be recalled for a general or limited purpose, as laid out in a special order issued by the Political leader.
"In the middle of the review process, the CRC in conjunction with the committee constituted to plan for the executive council sitting for the purpose of validating and adopting the constitution under the influence of Musa Bility had already set September 5, 2020, as the date for a special convention to elect new officers," the Chairman alleged.
Chairman Zargo believes that the Party's political leader has made no declaration for a convention, either through a written order or in a meeting of the Executive committee, as contained in Article VIII.
He further informed journalists and partisans that it is now "Crystalized" in the action of partisan Bility that, he may have been working closely with some members of the CRC and the Executive Council planning committee, and a few members of the Executive Committee plotting the removal of the leadership that was elected in Voinjama in 2018.
"As evidence thereto, we noticed alarming language in the proposed revised constitution under the section titled Transitional clause. The language in the transitional clause sought to apply the new law retroactively, by mandating that upon coming into force of the revised constitution, all positions elected in 2018 are automatically dissolved and that a special convention is to be held in 60 days of the adoption of the new constitution."
In Zargo's argument, laws cannot be retroactive because the fact that the party agreed to review its constitution does not necessitate the dissolution of the Executive Committee (EC). He also believes that the emotional dimension of holding a convention in an acrimonious environment under one year of the passing of Cllr. Charles Brumskine.
"We had suggested, as mid-way between what they want and our legitimate position, that the party should give a minimum honor to the man who shaped our institution so significantly, and by extension, our nation's democracy, by allowing his death anniversary to elapse," he said.
In the wake of the crisis, Senator Nyounblee Karnga Lawrence, Political leader of the LP, has scheduled the convention to be held within 150 days, but Senator Zargo wants clarity and preciseness as to the exact date for the gathering.