Politics in the world’s largest democracy has become a crowded affair in the past 60 years, but in Liberia, it bloomed in 1979, with the formation of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – the first opposition political party to break the 138 year one party rule by the True Whig Party.
The National Elections Commission (NEC), yesterday September 24, certificated two new political parties, the New Liberia Party (NLP) and the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), bringing the total number of registered political parties in Liberia to 20.
Reliable sources hinted to the Daily Observer that there are eight applications pending for the formation of additional political parties and if they are all certificated, there would be 28 standard bearers in the 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections –an unprecedented number of parties to ever participate in the country’s elections.
During yesterday’s certification of the parties at the NEC headquarters, Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya said political parties are key stakeholders in the electoral process, and should be responsible and also should not be Monrovia-based parties.
The NEC Chairman urged the parties to inform and liaise with the people about the electoral process and read the people’s rights, according to the Liberian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Law.
“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,” he quoted Article 77a of the 1986 Liberian Constitution.
He added the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Law, Section 21.1, which states: “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.”
The organizing national chairman of NLP, Mr. Sam Mohammed Kromah, thanked NEC for the certification and said the party “is a redemption train” to lift the country amidst the alarming infrastructure and economy after 168 years.
Mr. Kromah also said the suffering of the average Liberian is owing to the lack of direction of the leaders but promised that the NLP was poised to bring change.
For his part, the organizing chairman of MOVEE, James E. Brooks said the certification of the party clearly heralded the election of the MOVEE led government in 2017.
He said the party would promote peace, unity, reconciliation, and the rule of law as well as oppose nepotism, tribalism and sectionalism. Mr. Brooks said MOVEE will be the people’s party.
Giving the vote of thanks, Commissioner Sarah M. Toe urged the political parties to include women in their leadership because gender inclusion is paramount for Liberia to move forward.
Earlier, Acting Oversight Commissioner on Political Affairs, S. Zohntay Joe urged the political parties to always visit the NEC headquarters in a friendly manner to maintain an amicable and professional relationship.
The leadership of the New Liberia Party (NLP) include: Sam Mohamed Kromah, National Chairman; Miriam Fahika, Co-National Chairman; Edward Y. Sali, Sr, Secretary General; Momolu Kaindii, Financial Secretary. The party’s headquarters is located at St. Mark, Airfield, Lakpazee.
The leadership of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) include: James E. Brooks, National Chairman; Sam D. Yarkai, Nat’l Co-Chair/Admin; Samuel McGill, Nat’l Co-Chair/Recruitment and Mobilization; Hilary Mento, Secretary General; Rosetta G. Jones, Nat’l Chairlady; Sonnie K. Diggs, Nat’l Treasurer; Lazarus L.D. McIntosh, Chief Strategist; Arthur Jipakmu, Nat’l Youth Chair. The party’s headquarters is located at 5th Street, Sinkor, opposite Ecobank.