Dr. Nathaniel Milton Barnes, vice chair of the governing council of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), has left the coalition.
In his letter of resignation to CDC chair Nathaniel McGill and posted on social media today, Barnes said by taking the decision he is exploring his options while staying committed to being an agent of positive change in Liberia.
Although, he did not clearly state the reason for his resignation, he advanced that he remains concerned about the social and economic well-being of all Liberians based on a foundation of reconciliation, justice, fairness, equity and prosperity for all.
Barnes, the former Liberian ambassador in Washington, said, “I have served as a public servant in Liberia for almost 20 years. My concern for the welfare of the Liberian people transcends my ambition to be president.”
He maintains that he fully intends to remain engaged in the political process focusing on strong principles “rather than a populist approach.”
“Not only do Liberian people deserve the very best from their elected leaders, I believe Liberians are able to discern what is best for themselves,” he said, adding that Liberians will determine their own destiny for which “I am fervently praying for the best for the people—especially those most marginalized by the current status quo.”
Founded in 2005, Dr. Barnes’ Liberian Destiny Party (LDP) was one of the political parties that recently joined the CDC coalition.
The former LDP standard bearer won 1.0 percent of the vote in the 2005 presidential poll. The party also fielded legislative candidates in the October 11, 2005 elections, but failed to win a seat in the Senate and House of Representatives.
Barnes crossed carpet from the LDP to the Free Democratic Party (FDP), one of the two political parties currently a part of the National Democratic Coalition (NDC).
He said his decision to cross to the NDC was because of the proliferation of political parties in the country’s fledgling democracy. “Rather than challenging the decertification of my original party, LDP, or seeking to establish yet another political party, I thought it wise to associate myself with an existing organization whose ideology, goals and objectives are extremely compatible with my vision for Liberia as we approach the October polls.”
Initially, seven political parties combined under the umbrella of the NDC to effectively contest the 2011 presidential elections. However, the NDC now consists of only the Free Democratic Party and the New DEAL Movement which Barnes claims are the most determined to build a lasting coalition.
In addition to sharing the view that Liberian political parties would benefit from more mergers, Dr. Barnes says he is impressed by the NDC’s ideology of social democracy, which he says is the combination of political freedom and economic justice.
In 2008, President Johnson Sirleaf named Dr. Barnes as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, replacing Ambassador Charles Minor. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Barnes headed the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations in New York. In September 1999, Dr. Barnes was appointed as Minister of Finance.