Liberia: Bility's Chairmanship of Liberty Party 'Nullified'

LP chairman Musa Bility.

The opposition Liberty Party has nullified the election of its Chairman Musa Bility just days after he suspended the party political leaders and some executive members for unpaid dues.

At a press conference earlier today, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence claimed that her action is based on an investigative report which disclosed that the election that brought Bility to power was fraudulent and marred by procedural errors.

"We must take responsibility to make the necessary corrections in line with our value of following the rule of law. Given the findings of the Special Investigation Committee which incorporated testimonies of the major actors in the planning and execution of the Convention, and acting in line with Article Five Section 1 (d) of the 2015 Constitution which designates the Political Leader as the Convener of the Special National Convention, we hereby declare the Convention of January 21-23, 2021 nullified," Sen. Karnga-Lawrence declared.

However, it is yet to be seen whether this mandate will be enforced since chairman Bility appears to control a large segment of the party, although not compared to his political leaders.

Also, Bility might not accept this decision without a fight… which means the involvement of the National Elections Commission and possibly the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Sen. Karnga-Lawrence's action is the effect of a wider internal crisis that laid bare the fragility of the two leaders’ relationship, resulting in the suspension of the political leader over alleged unpaid dues.

Arguing the move, Senator Karnga-Lawrence said that her action is based on the investigation result. Therefore, she is nullifying the result of the convention that brought Bility to the chairmanship and is returning the party to the status quo ante.

"The party returns to status quo ante. The Honorable Senator Stephen Zargo assumes the leadership of the Liberty Party as Chairman," the Grand Bassa Senator said. "In the coming days, the Chairman will convene a meeting of all stakeholders, including Musa Hassan Bility, who reverts to his previous role as Chairman of the National Advisory Council, to decide the future of our party.

"I also want to be extremely clear that the Liberty Party will not tolerate anyone operating as an officer of the party if not granted by the 2015 constitution, under which we now operate. Such behavior is classified as fraudulent and unlawful; as such, any partisan found impersonating an authority not granted by the 2015 constitution will be subject to disciplinary actions up to and including disqualification from holding LP office in the future," Sen. Karnga-Lawrence asserted.

Meanwhile, an aide to Bility has rejected the Senator's actions and termed it as a bluff.

"The political leader is joking," the aide said.

More details as this story develop.