Liberia: National Elections Commission Certificates CPP As a Political Coalition Today

Monrovia — At long last, the National Elections Commission (NEC) is expected to certificate the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) as a coalition to participate in Liberia's electioneering processes.

The CPP is made up of four political parties including the forming ruling Unity Party (UP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), All Liberian Party (ALP), and the Liberty Party (LP).

In a communication dated August 11, 2020 and addressed to the organizing Chairman of the CPP, Senator Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu County, the NEC disclosed that the CPP has met all of the requirements as stipulated in the 1986 Liberian constitution and the new electoral laws of Liberia to become a coalition or alliance in Liberia.

The constitution is regarded as the organic law of the land.

Article 79 of the 1986 Liberian constitution states that: No association, by whatever name called, shall function as a political party, nor shall any citizen be an independent candidate for election to public office, unless: a. the association or independent candidate and his organization meet the minimum registration requirements laid down by the Elections Commission and are registered with it".

It adds that: "Registration requirements shall include filing with the Elections Commission a copy of the constitution of the association and guidelines of the independent candidate and his organization, a detailed statement of the names and addresses of the association and its officers or of the independent candidate and the officers of his organization, and fulfillment of the provision of sub-sections (b), (c), (d) and (e) hereof".

Section 8.5 of the new electoral law states that: "Registered political parties may be allowed to form alliances and coalitions as provided by this Section. (1) Procedure registered political parties wishing to form an alliance or coalition shall each pass a resolution consenting to the alliance or coalition signed by an absolute majority (50% of the votes plus one vote) of the members of the executive committee; (2) Plan of alliance or coalition-The Executive Committee of each registered political party proposed to participate in the alliance or coalition shall approve a plan of alliance or coalition setting forth: (a) The name of each constituent registered political party (b) Terms and conditions of the proposed alliance or coalition, including the intended duration of the alliance or coalition and the (c) filing of plan of alliance or coalition.

"The NEC shall issue a certificate of accreditation in the name of the alliance or coalition. (5) When alliances or coalitions may be formed Alliances or coalitions may be formed not later than eight (8) weeks prior to the first ballot" the section among other things states.

The communication issued under the signature of the new Chairperson of the NEC, Counselor Davidetta Browne Lansanah, disclosed that the CPP will be officially certificated on August 14, 2020 at the James M. Fromayan conference hall at 2:00PM.

It can be recalled that on February 21, 2019, the ANC, LP, UP, and ALP consummated a collaborative document to forge a common front in the political processes of the country.

The collaborative document signed under the captioned "Statement of Commitment" was geared towards working together collective to democratically unseat the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government of President George Manneh Weah in future elections due to "massive suffering, corruption, accumulation of wealth by the President to the detriment of the Liberian people, bad governance, disrespect for the rule of law," among others.

The document was signed at the headquarters of the former governing Unity Party in Congo Town, outside Monrovia.

Leaders of the opposition political parties who affixed their signatures to the document included: Mr. Alexander B. Cummings (ANC), former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai (UP), Benoni Urey (ALP) and Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine (LP), now deceased.

Sometimes ago, the CPP was embroiled with a leadership crisis over the selection of a standard bearer to head the coalition ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections, and the selection of candidates for the ensuing December 8, 2020 senatorial election.

A Voter Perspective Survey (VPS) mechanism was being proposed by the current Chairman of the CPP and political leader of the ANC, Mr. Cummings, while the ALP of Mr. Urey, who served as the first chairman of the CPP, proposed the election of a chairman of the CPP by delegates at a national convention, instead of a VPS process.

The situation led to a split and heated verbal exchanges between executives and members of the various political parties that make up the CPP for a short period of time.

It also compelled a rush towards the finalization of a framework document allocating counties to the various opposition political parties, and paved the way for the pending certification of the CPP.

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