According to Vice Chairman Johnson, the resolution did not meet the consensus of the National Executive Committee of the party, including its Standard Bearer, Vice President Jewel Howard- Taylor.
The signed resolution mandates all members of the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) to set rules and orders instituted by the Governing Council of the CDC.
The CDC comprises of the Congress for Democratic Change(CDC), the National Patriotic Party(NPP) and the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP).
The document, which has been communicated to President George Manneh Weah, who is also the Standard Bearer of the CDC, states that in the absence of the resolution, any decision reached by a constituent political party without the involvement of the other two will not be considered a decision by the coalition.
Furthermore, the resolution also points out that the three political parties had agreed to put forth a single slot of legislative candidate in 2017, but did not define how candidates will be derived for the coalition in subsequent elections.
The resolution then recommended that the Governing Council of the CDC derive policies by consensus (a method used by the Coalition during the 2017 elections) that will guide the Coalition in all future decisions of the Coalition.
“That the Governing Council, which served as the fulcrum of the Coalition’s success in the 2017 elections, be allowed as stated in the Coalition’s agreement, to derive policies by consensus (a method used by the Coalition during the 2017 elections) that will guide the Coalition in all future decisions of the Coalition. In the absence of such, any decision reached by a constituent political party without the involvement of the other two will not be considered a Coalition’s decision,” the two parties resolved.
However, speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper on Sunday, February 16, 2020, Vice Chairman Johnson, who is also the Senator of Bomi County, pointed out that those who signed that resolution are not member of the party, asserting that it was done secretly by Chairman Biney and some people of the LPDP.
Sen. Johnson averred that the agreement that brought the three parties into being did not call for the Governing Council of the CDC to determine legislative seats would be allotted or contested.
“In the first place, the National Executive Committee of the NPP has, at no time, signed a resolution for onward submission to the President of the Republic of Liberia. The resolution that was signed does not meet the consensus of the party. Those that signed that resolution are not member of the party so it was done secretly by the chairman and some people of the LPDP,” he stated.
“The party did not support and is not aware of that resolution. However, in our last meeting, a suggestion was brought and a decision reached that the NPP put in place order and concerns in term of jobs; in terms of legislative seat and communicate that through a resolution that will be presented to the CDC at the retreat,” he continued.
“James Biney does not have the authority to sign any resolution without the approval of the National Executive Committee of the NPP. That resolution was done in secret and that is an embarrassment to us and this is why we are disassociating ourselves with that. It was done by Chairman Biney and a few-handful of people who are heavily looking for jobs in government,” further asserted the Bomi County Senator and NPP executive.
“We are going to inform the CDC that we are not aware of that resolution. The agreement that brought the three parties into being clearly states that, those who are sitting will not retain their seat. It is the NPP who will determine which candidate it puts forth and not the CDC as a coalition. That resolution has brought serious embarrassed us as a party. The resolution is null and void,” he added.
Sen. Johnson’s comments are backed recent statement by the Chairman emeritus of the NPP, Chief Cyril Allen that the party’s senators and lawmakers will be retained in their respective positions in subsequent elections.
Chief Cyril pointed out that the party (NPP) has agreed and resolved that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) respects the agreement that brought the tripartite arrangement that formed the Coalition.
Currently, the NPP has three members in the Liberian Senate, otherwise known as the Upper House of the Liberian Legislature. They are: Senator Sando Johnson of Bomi County, Senator Dan Morais of Maryland County and Senator ArmahJallah of Gbarpolu.
According to Chief Allen, it would be a bad thing if the coalition fails to live up to the agreement and commitment of the 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections.
“Our agreement between the three collaborating parties under the Coalition was very clear and the Election Commission used our documents as basis to register as a Coalition; we must not renege on it. It is very bad for institution to make commitment and sign documents and submit them to international respectable bodies and renege on those agreements, which shows lack of seriousness,” said Allen.
“When it comes to senatorial seats, we said that all incumbent seats that any of the three-member parties and to some extent the collaborating political parties will remain for those parties and only with negotiation and discussion within those parties will allow those seats be given out,” he stated.