Monrovia — A National Executive Committee (NEC) member of the former governing Unity Party (UP) Senator Prince Kermue Moye has sounded a caveat to those contemplating on using finances to cause political instability and confusion among partisans and supporters of the party over the endorsement of Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai as Standard Bearer, ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections.
Senator Moye is representing the people of Bong County in the 54th National Legislature.
Ahead of the party’s national convention for the elections of new corps of officials, including a Standard Bearer, there are reports that “hidden hands” within and out of the UP are planning to disrupt the entire process by spilling over cash to swine the minds of the delegates.
The convention is scheduled for July 2022.
Sometimes ago, Musa Hassan Bility, the embattled Chairman of the split Liberty Party (UP) vowed to have a stake within the UP’s convention shortly after news broke out that a former stalwart Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, was planning to contest against former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, who is the current Standard Bearer of the party.
But speaking when he appeared as guest on state radio ELBC on Thursday, May 12, Senator Moye said those planning to cause confusion within the UP should stop wasting their time.
According to him, partisans and supporters of the ex-ruling party are not move by cash and as such, they would not take money from anyone to destabilize their own political institution.
He denied reports that the UP is embroiled into internal wrangling as a result of the legal suit filed against the party from fielding a candidate in the Lofa County by-election.
The UP was taken to the National Elections Commission (NEC) by the Musa Hassan Bility’s fraction of the LP for not living up to the framework document the party signed to stick with the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
The move came shortly after the party endorsed former Lofa County Superintendent Galakpai Kortima to contest on its ticket for the by-election.
The by-election was triggered following the denial of Mr. Brownie Samukai from taking his seat after he was declared the winner in 2020 by the Supreme Court of Liberia.
The High Court ordered the imprisonment of Mr. Samukai and two others for their failure to meet up with the 50% payment of the US$1.1 million money of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) money which was misapplied by them.
Mr. Samukai, who is the former Minister of National Defense, Joseph Johnson, former Deputy Minister for Administration and James Nyumah Dorkor, former Comptroller were found guilty of the crimes of theft of property, misuse of public money and criminal conspiracy. He was ordered jailed for two years, while the co-defendants were given six months jail terms each but with a condition that their sentences shall be suspended if they restitute 50 percent of the fund within six months and make full payment within a year.
But to prevent his incarceration, President Weah bowed to public pressure and granted clemency to Mr. Samukai in keeping with the 1986 Liberian constitution.
Fighting for rights
Senator Moye said executives and partisans of the UP are legally “fighting” for their rights in keeping with Article 77 and 81 of the 1986 Liberian Constitution.
Article 77 states that: a) Since the essence of democracy is free competition of ideas expressed by political parties and political groups as well as by individuals, parties may freely be established to advocate the political opinions of the people. Laws, regulations, decrees or measures which might have the effect of creating a one-party state shall be declared unconstitutional; b) All elections shall be by secret ballot as may be determined by the Elections Commission, and every Liberian citizen not less than 18 years of age, shall have the right to be registered as a voter and to vote in public elections and referenda under this Constitution. The Legislature shall enact laws indicating the category of Liberians who shall not form or become members of political parties.
Article 81 notes that: “Article 81(1) Any citizen, political party, organization, or association, being resident in Liberia, of Liberian nationality or origin and not otherwise disqualified under the provisions of this (2)Constitution and laws of the land, shall have the right to canvass for the votes for any political party or candidate at any election, provided that corporate and business organizations and labor unions are excluded from so canvassing directly or indirectly in whatsoever form”.
He noted that executives and partisans of the UP have the right to canvass for any candidate of their choice as guaranteed by the Constitution.
“There is no internal wrangling within the UP and nothing has happened of recent. All we know is that we are fighting for our rights”.
“If you do not trust any mature party in the Republic of Liberia, you should trust UP at the highest level because money does not make it in our party”.
He recalled that while serving as the convention chairman of the UP in 2016, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf openly opposed the candidacy of ex-chairman Wilmot Paye.
He noted that despite the opposition from Madam Sirleaf, who is considered as the most influential politician in Liberia, Mr. Paye won the election and excelled to the chairmanship of the party.
“That’s the level of independence and democracy that take place in the UP”.
Senator Moye continued: “You can get your million dollars and if you do not want to waste it, don’t think about coming to Unity Party to spend money there. You will just be wasting your time”.
He said though executives and others have not seen anyone in the party who is contemplating on spilling the cash to cause confusion within the UP, they are cognizant of the growing wave of speculations on the matter.
‘Done deal’ for Boakai
He said in the absence of the party’s constitution, the National Executive Committee (NEC) remains the highest decision-making body of the UP.
Senator Moye recalled that in an attempt to prepare the party’s choice for the Standard Bearer position of the CPP, the NEC of the UP met and endorsed Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai as the Standard Bearer.
“For our party to prepare herself to enter in the competition within the CPP, the Unity Party was very proactive that in the absence of a convention, we took a decision to endorse Ambassador Boakai as Standard Bearer for the next six years.
That’s a done deal. And so, if you are coming in the Unity Party, just come and say I going vie for another position”.
According to him, the pending national convention of the UP in July is just a formality intended to give support to the NEC’s endorsement of Amb. Boakai.
Senator Moye, however, used the medium to urge partisans and supporters of the UP not to be carried away by the speculation and fake propaganda against the Standard Bearer position of Amb. Boakai.
On senatorial race
Senator Moye won two successive elections at the level of the House of Representatives in Bong in 2011 and 2017 respectively.
Despite being elected as a Deputy Speaker by his colleagues at the House in 2018, he accepted a petition from his people to contest the senatorial seat following the ascendancy of Jewel Howard Taylor to the Vice Presidency.
He overwhelmingly won the election and is seen as one of the political godfathers of the county.
Senator Moye sees his colleague Dr. Henrique Tokpa, who is contemplating on vying for the senatorial seat he presently occupies, as a sympathizer of the UP.
He said though Senator Tokpa has not yet declare his intention to re-contest the post; he (Moye) owes him a support ahead of the electoral process.
He noted that he remains committed to supporting the re-election of the seasoned Liberian educator, but however, a decision to allow him contest on the UP ticket, even though he previously won as an independent candidate, will be made by executives and delegates at a primary process.
“I am from the UP and my party has to go for convention after which candidates will apply. I have always supported Dr. Henrique Tokpa who is a senior citizen I have so much respect for him. I owe it to him to advise him frankly and to support him. Dr. Tokpa is a very important Senator to me; I call and see him as my father”.