The political leader of the opposition Liberty Party has expressed bitter disappointment over the action taken by its chairman Ben Sanvee, his Vice Presidential running mate Harrison Karnwea and others declaring that theirs was an attempt to humiliate him.
He said their superimposition of the CDC presidential candidate George Weah’s photo on Liberty Party campaign T-shirts, without his permission, meant to convey a misleading impression that he had endorsed Mr. Weah, was “wrong”, subtly suggesting that it was indeed a criminal act, although he did not say he would press charges against them.
He clarified that the LP, which finished third in the October 10 presidential and representative elections, is yet to endorse any of the two parties that are due to contest the runoff as .
Over the last weekend enraged partisans of LP trooped in their numbers to the LP headquarters to seek clarification from their political leader, Charles Walker Brumskine, about rumors that the hierarchy has clandestinely endorsed the presidential bid of Senator George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
Cllr. Brumskine, who was constrained to return to the country and calm the growing tension upon receiving the information that his party was embroiled in an endorsement crisis, said anyone who has endorsed either the ruling Unity Party or the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has done so of his or her own volition, as the LP is yet to reach a consensus on the matter among the members of the Executive Committee, which comprises 34 individuals.
It may be recalled that the Chairman of LP, Benjamin Sanvee; vice standard bearer, Harrison Karnwea; and campaign manager, Musa Bility, last Thursday controversially endorsed the presidential bid of Senator Weah, promising him success in the pending runoff election.
Chairman Sanvee said: “This country is at a crossroads and we believe Sen. Weah is the best choice to lead us through. We all believe in change. We all preached for change for the last few years, because we have hoped that change is possible today.”
But Cllr. Brumskine clarified that, “It is Harrison, Musa and Ben who have endorsed the CDC and not the Liberty Party—we have to make this clear to our people.”
“They have gone ahead to endorse the CDC, we will issue a statement indicating that it is not LP that has endorsed the CDC.” he said to loud applause.
In their quest to endorse the CDC, Sanvee and Co. decided to place an image of Weah over Brumskine’s, which the Liberty Party political leader termed as “degrading and humiliating.”
Upon receiving the information, Brumskine noted that he sent each of the three LP Executive Members personal notes telling them that their action was not just about endorsement but to humiliate him as well.
“I told them that many of my supporters have sent me the LP T-shirts where you people placed Senator Weah’s image over mine. What you people wanted to do is not about endorsement but rather to degrade and humiliate me. You people wanted to make me shame, but when you trust in God nothing can make you shame. People may try to insult you, but it takes you to feel insulted,” he noted.
He indicated that the decision and action of Karnwea and the others were meant to “make us look inferior, but rather it has further cemented the reputable nature of the party in the country. If we were not a great party then why are there all these fusses around here for now? The thing the people did has made us know that LP is very important in this country.”
“It is hard to build than to destroy but people don’t understand what LP is about. If you think LP is about Brumskine becoming president then you missed it,” he said. “LP is about values, it is about those things we believe in. Brumskine can’t be happy if the partisans on the ground are not happy. This thing is about changing our country. If we wanted to do it by violence, we all know no one person has the monopoly over violence. You know we can get guns and kill people and take power, but that’s not what we want; we want a revolutionary change.”
He called on his supporters to disregard what has happened. “The thing Harrison, Musa and Ben did, you must leave it. If you people truly believe in me and love me you must then leave it,” he said. “To bring about change is not easy. If we jump at those people’s necks then what makes us different? Then we are lying to ourselves about the change we want and desire on bringing into this country. What they have done let them go with it I pray to God for them,” he added
LP, in a statement issued in Monrovia on Saturday, said consultations are nearing a conclusion that would inform the party of its decision on which of the two candidates to support in the runoff.
“We are aware that arriving at such a decision is difficult, if not impossible, to have a unanimous consent. A consensus or majority decision is being reached so as to reflect the image and integrity of Liberty Party,” the statement, signed by LP’s acting chairman, Abraham Darius Dillon, noted.
Said decision, he added, will be officially announced, following discussions between “our party and the party to be endorsed.”
“In view of the above, LP’s National Executive Committee unequivocally states that, as of now, the party has endorsed neither of the two parties. Any and all endorsements of candidates thus far do not represent or reflect, and should not be construed as an institutional endorsement for, and or on behalf of Liberty Party,” he said.