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‘Complete gangsterism’

Cyril Allen describes NPP Violent Convention

By Lewis S Teh

The Chairman Emeritus of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) Chief Cyril Allen has termed complete gangsterism, the violence, and disruptions of NPP’s 7th biennial convention last week.

Speaking on local radio recently, Chief Allen said this act should not be condoned.

“Now look at the kind of actions that were taken at the convention, it’s so disgusting,” he lamented.

He said it was undemocratic, the form and manner in which supporters forced their way into the convention hall.

He also argued that it was undemocratic that Liberia’s Vice President and standard bearer of the NPP Madam Jewel Howard-Taylor allegedly stood in the open to handpick the party’s national chairman and vice chairperson. 

“…For the vice president … to stand out in the open and make a pronouncement and handpick the party’s national chairman and vice chairperson and all that is undemocratic,” said Chief Allen.

Last week, violent clashes led to NPP, a former ruling party of imprisoned former President Charles Ghankay Taylor holding separate conventions at the Paynesville City Hall.

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The separate conventions were held by factions of the NPP loyal to Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, estranged wife of Mr. Taylor, and the embattled chairman of NPP Senator James Binney on the other hand.

Vice President Howard-Taylor snubbed a Supreme Court order last week mandating the NPP Chairman James Biney and Secretary General Andrew Peters to hold the party’s convention.

She reportedly dedicated herself to the responsibility to hold the convention, leading to the violent clashes.

The NPP’s 7th 7th Biennial Convention was held in compliance with the mandate of the Civil Law Court, which adjudicated the prolonged leadership conflict within the former ruling party.

Eyewitnesses said it all started when supporters of VP Howard-Taylor attempted to force their way into the convention hall after being denied to do so due to a lack of convention passes.

The Vice President in return was said to have ordered officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police to take siege of the gate to allow her “unaccredited” supporters into the convention hall.

After the VP Howard-Taylor’s group left the hall, the Biney faction proceeded with its convention too, thereby retaining the Maryland County Senator Biney as National Chairman.

Biney’s challenger Abraham Masseley had withdrawn from the race.

Meanwhile, the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has appointed a Dispute Resolution Committee to mediate the lingering disharmonies within its constituent party, the NPP.

Chief Allen suggested that the NPP subscribes to democratic tenets and it is part of democratic institutions.

As such, he admonished the party to not adopt a violent posture because it doesn’t speak well for the party.

He accused Vice President Howard-Taylor of allegedly dashing out money to members whom he alleged were signing a resolution.

The NPP stalwart indicated that the party was reduced to a point where those individuals who were appointed by the standard bearer were allegedly offered US$600 each to sign a resolution.

He frowned on the standard bearer, saying such actions should not be coming from the head of a political party.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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