Proven Entrepreneur Takes on Politics

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Amin Modad declares bid for UP Chairman, says he knows how to build institutions and understands the value of empowering people

Amin Modad, a businessman who has heretofore only lived his political life in the background, has announced a bid for chairman of the former ruling Unity Party.

Amin, a party loyalist and Liberia’s first representative to the World Trade Organization, last weekend cast himself as the most capable person to reawaken the party and position it as a serious political institution ready to regain state power.

Among the many contestants who are vying for the party chairmanship position, Amin noted that he is the most suitable to stand up to the current challenge facing the party—and ready and willing to listen to the concerns people have with the beleaguered party leadership—which has been at a low point since the party’s defeat in the 2017 presidential election.

Amin, a native of Montserrado, while declaring his candidacy for the chairmanship position told Unity Partisans in a Facebook post that he is, more than ever, ready to reshape the ‘Monrovia–centric’ party leadership.

“The challenges we are now confronted with are not ordinary, thus, they demand extraordinary stewardship. My strategic foci will be on reuniting the party, renewing our vision and strategy, and realigning the institutional structure to support our renewed vision, growing membership, and ensuring that we are financially potent to forge ahead with our vision,” he said in an open letter on his website (https://www.modadforupchair.com/g) about his candidacy.

Amin, who is a seasoned entrepreneur in the hospitality and beverage industries, acknowledged that the party’s loss to the ruling Coalition for Democracy Change (CDC) had not been easy for them, and that, “now more than ever, there is a need for unity and strategic reforms in the party.”

“Losing the election exacerbated the internal rifts within the party that already might have cost us the elections and put the entire country on a path of decline. The resulting dereliction and poor management of the crisis resulted in defections, expulsions, and resignations,” Amin said. “Never has the party been so polarized as now; loyal, capable, and zealous partisans have become broken, despondent, and desperate.”

According to him, while the current UP has zealous partisans, it suffers from a serious leadership gap within that continues to undermine the party’s credibility; therefore, he is contesting to change the situation.

“I am not a traditional politician. I am an entrepreneur who knows how to build institutions; who understands the value of empowering people; who subscribes to the ethos of accountability and transparency; who understands the economy and knows what it takes to succeed despite the challenges.

“Most importantly, through my enterprises, I’ve demonstrated how entrepreneurship and vision can transform lives and build a nation. I’m truly grateful for the quality of leadership our party provided the country, thereby creating the enabling environment for Liberian entrepreneurs to thrive and dreams achieved. Even as I successfully explored the world of business, my loyalty to our party never wavered and I continued to support its goals and programs,” he said

Modad said now that the party needs credible, experienced, and strong leadership, he “cannot stand on the sidelines believing that our party can only be led by traditional politicians.”  He further noted that the current Unity Party has failed to be the party he knows and is no longer that grassroots—a situation he will immediately embark on to solve in order to give the party a new direction.

“And so, by my candidacy, I hope to inspire a sense of entrepreneurial spirit, hunger for success, patriotism, and bold innovation to heal the cracks that have undermined our advance. Our core vision hinges on four main pillars that commence with bringing together all sides under a strategic reconciliatory agenda to have a genuine discussion and a thorough assessment of the errors and missteps made over the years and culminate with a strategic re-visioning exercise that will chart our strategy leading to the 2023 Presidential Elections.

According to Amin, such exercise will not be to throw blames and further disintegrate the party, but to put unification, party loyalty, and political vibrancy on the front-burner.

“We stand on the side of unity as well as the support of all of our partisans to improve their lives and see our party interests advanced. Our candidacy is about creating a clean slate to build again a party where all are welcomed and none is excluded.  This is the Unity Party we know — a party that does not discriminate but brings people together.

People close to Modad say he wants to help rebuild the shell-shocked party after losing all except one county in the election to CDC and that the best way for him to be helpful is at the helm of the party leadership.

“Three years after elections, we need to be led past shifting blames,” he said. “We’ve seen where these destructive vices have led the party and country. This is about seizing the opportunity to ignore these and elect an astute, dynamic, and credible leader who has clear and defined priorities, and can build consensus to achieve the goals of the party; it’s about taking the focus off individuals and self-aggrandizement and putting it on strengthening the institution for victory in 2023.

The businessman, who is reportedly the first UP partisan to openly announce his candidacy for the party chairman, has on his team Roland Layfette Giddings and Mo Ali, contesting respectively for the Senior Vice Chairman position and Security General.

Roland, who Chief Executive Officer of a Management Consultancy Firm, Lalefette Services Incorporated and a former Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Public Works, became a member of the Unity Party in 2016 and was appointed as Chairperson for the Policy & Program Committee managing the drafting of the party’s 2017 platform.

According to Giddings, he was fully involved with the 2017 campaign activities of the Unity Party. To date, he still serves in this position and was overwhelmingly chosen to manage the drafting of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Framework that has brought together the four constituent parties into an alliance.

As for Mo Ali, he is the current Acting Secretary-General and Spokesman of the party and a founding member of the Council of Patriots (COP), which organized both the June 7, 2019, and January 6, 2020, mass protests against corruption, bad governance, and other vices in Liberia.

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