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Campaign against Wilmot Paye intensifies

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The embattled chairman of the ex-ruling Unity Party Wilmot Paye appears to be under increased pressure to quite the post despite his suspension by UP executives for alleged constitutional breach.Mr. Paye challenges his suspension and has run to the Supreme Court of Liberia despite immense pressure within the party to leave.

He argues a change of leadership within the UP should only be effected at a national convention in line with the party’s constitution.But a former deputy foreign minister, B. Elias Shoniyin, says it’s time for Paye to step down as chairman.

Addressing the Montserrado County Youth Wing of the UP at its first annual congress recently, he noted the decision to suspend Paye from the chairmanship, is in line with the national executive committee’s determination to restructure and reconciling the party.

“I acknowledge with great appreciation, the recent action of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, under the guidance of Ambassador Boakai, for the first major step of restructuring and reconciling the party”, he says.

According to him, the suspension is not sufficient; he joins the Montserrado Youth Caucus call for the immediate removal of Paye as national chairman.Mr. Shoniyin asserts that the party’s interest is bigger than any individual’s interest, adding this should be recognized in the party.

Admitting that the UP is at a crossroads, he suggests that the party makes an urgent decision by effecting the restructuring process the soonest.Speaking further, Mr. Shoniyin urges members of the youth congress to be proactive and oppose anyone in the party that lacks political vision.

“I urge the youth congress to invoke a deep sense [of] thinking and objectivity in your action, and oppose any form of political manipulation by people with narrow political objectives.”

Mr. Paye seems to have fell out with UP executive members when he called on partisans to stay away from the January 7 protest in Monrovia after the party leader, Ambassador Joseph Nyumah Boakia said citizens’ right to assemble is guaranteed under the constitution. The protest was organized by the group, Council of Patriots to seek answers to petition presented earlier to the Weah administration.

Besides, Mr. Boakai had embarked on an effort to reconcile with former standard bearer, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf specifically, and UP partisans both at home and abroad before the next elections, which he might likely contest.

The reconciliation initiative followed after the party, under Paye’s chairmanship expelled Madam Sirleaf and other executive committee members, a move that was similarly challenged in court.–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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