... Death knell hovers over the CPP
From all indications, the ongoing internecine feud in the Liberty Party appears certain to cause a split in ranks, with one faction led by its political leader Nyonblee Karnga - Lawrence and the other by Musa Bility.
According to a political analyst, Sen. Karnga - Lawrence and Darius Dillon made a fatal mistake by co-opting Bility within the top hierarchy of the Liberty Party.
There were some within party ranks who were vehemently opposed to the decision by Senator Dillon. But Dillon, responding to claims and accusations that Bility had a questionable character, likened Bility to that of the Biblical character Saul, a known persecutor of Christians but who had converted to Paul, a known academic and leader of Christians.
But critics maintained that Bility’s sudden leap to the top was made possible by under-the-table payments, although Dillon denied all such claims. They further claimed that the lack of foresight and poor judgment combined led to the problem that Dillon and Karnga-Lawrence face today, having been wrested out of control of the party by Bility.
Further, some of those opposed to Bility has pointed accusing fingers at former President Sirleaf, who they claim has a hand in the ongoing imbroglio. The intent, according to them, is to have the Liberty Party declare its support for Alternative National Congress (ANC) leader, Alexander Cummings.
Such a move, according to analysts, would tend to undermine support for Unity Party Political leader, former Vice President Joseph Boakai, now occupying the rotational chairmanship of the CPP.
The former Vice President has recently returned from a tour of the United States. According to sources, the visit was intended to garner support for his presidential bid on a unified CPP ticket. But, according to sources, the former Vice President was advised that support for his presidential bid will be contingent on his winning the nomination as leader of a unified ticket in 2023.
Since his return, there has been very little information in the public domain about current attempts he is involved in to calm the crisis in the CPP. His critics contend that Vice President Boakai, having already declared himself as most suitable to lead and, therefore, is unprepared to play second fiddle to Alexander Cummings.
Cummings maintains a similar stance. Given this situation, the natural course of action would be a special convention conveyed for the specific purpose of electing a standard-bearer to represent the CPP at the 2023 polls. The problem is, the Unity Party (UP), All Liberian Party (ALP) and the Liberty Party insist on bloc voting, meaning that the three (3) parties combined will outvote the Alternative National Congress (ANC).
The ANC objects to this voting formula and insists that, while each party will be fielding an equal number of delegates, voting should be done on an individual basis and would be free to elect by secret ballot candidates of their choice.
But there are questions whether the CPP will at all overcome its differences given the recent move and counter move by BIility and Karnga-Lawrence expelling each other from the party leadership. This situation is certainly a big challenge for Vice President Boakai to resolve with both parties stuck in their respective positions.
From all indications, the CPP appears unlikely to survive intact as a unified body. And this crisis may deepen even further and lead to a split within party ranks.
Just how such development is likely to go down with the people of Grand Bassa who constitute the core of the Liberty Party’s support, remains to be seen. But it appears more likely than not that tribal sentiments may be called into play with the Bassa people rallying behind Senator Nyonblee Karnga - Lawrence.
Now, as to whether she will be able to eventually succeed in becoming Boakai’s choice for vice president, remains unclear. What is clear is that a death spell hovers over the CPP. It also appears clear that ANC leader Cummings will go it alone if he has to. However, it is not clear whether he will have the full support of the Liberty Party, in view of the apparent factional split in the party.
If this crop of politicians are unable to manage their differences, can they be trusted with the complex task of managing the nation’s affairs?
What this suggests is that the declared intention by renowned human rights lawyer, Tiawan Gongloe, to contest the polls as well as Dr. Daniel Cassell, both new entrants, provides some alternative for Liberians in 2023.