Ruling Unity Party (UP) lawmaker Rep. Worlea Saywah Dunah says the expulsion of outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from the Unity Party or UP by party executives is unconstitutional and undemocratic.
The Nimba lawmaker issued a statement Sunday, 14 January critiquing the action of his fellow UP stalwarts after the ruling party circulated a statement on Sunday containing its decision over President Sirleaf and other party officials’ expulsion.
Mrs. Sirleaf’s expulsion from the UP that is transitioning to an opposition party comes after months of accusations that she allegedly undermined the existence of the party and violated its rules to support all UP candidates in elections.
Party executive committee members are said to have reached the decision expelling President Sirleaf and other members late on Saturday, 13 January. But the action is seriously being challenged by Rep. Dunah, who argues that such action is unconstitutional and undemocratic.
The meeting at which Mrs. Sirleaf and other UP officials were said to be expelled by the National Executive Committee (NEC) is said to have taken place at the residence of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, the party’s defeated presidential candidate at the December presidential runoff won by former soccer legend Mr. George Manneh Weah.
Rep. Dunah says in a statement issued Sunday afternoon, 14 January that he considers the action against President Sirleaf, Senator Comany B. Wesseh and others on January 13 as being in ‘gross violation’ of the Constitution of the Party and contrary to the cardinal tenet of due process as is practiced here.
Rep. Dunah who chairs the House of Representatives Statutory Committee on Judiciary warns that it is an unfortunate political development that will undermine the growth and continuing sustainability of the Unity Party.
Rep. Dunah claims that Article VI Section 3 Requirement of a vote of two third (2/3) of the entire membership of the National Election Committee for expulsion of members were not meet.
He alleges that a mere 28 members of the NEC meeting cannot expel any member on a vote of 16, given that the total number of the NEC of the Unity Party is 65.
Dunah observes that the meeting called by Mr. Boakai, UP’s standard bearer, did not inform the accused of a resolution from the country chairperson, neither were copies of said Resolution ever served on NEC Members.
According to him, only six representatives were in meeting out of 15, arguing that none of the 10 Unity Party senators were in attendance. Rep. Dunah suggests that the matter should have been assigned to a committee to investigate how these accused cost the UP the elections won by opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of President -elect Mr. Weah.
He claims that the opinion of the Legal Counsel of the party as required by Article XIV Section 16(a) was never sought, noting that he had earlier requested for a report from the campaign committee.
According to Rep. Dunah, he was told the report was being drafted, thus insisting that to identify and expel those allegedly responsible for the massive defeat the party suffered last year in the absence of a report from those charged with managing the campaign is totally ‘incredulous’.
The outgoing Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives and former Secretary General of the Unity Party Legislative Caucus strongly believes that the party must abide by its constitution and respect the contributions of President Sirleaf.
“The Unity Party of today was dusted from the bins of history and rebranded by President Sirleaf who transformed it into a ruling party; all that the party has achieved over time has been due to her exemplary leadership skills and political astuteness,” he says.
Rep. Dunah, the only lawmaker elected on the Unity Party ticket in Nimba County in 2011 further condemns the unilateral action of County Chairman Pharaze Dehkpa in affixing his signature to a document without calling a formal meeting of the county’s executive committee and giving no reference to the UP lawmaker, party elders and stalwarts from the county.
“The chairlady of the Women Wing and the Chairman of the Youth Wing informed our office that there was no such meeting held, that there was no agreement of the Nimba Chapter and that these two vital wings of the party in Nimba were unaware of such a development,” he laments.
The Nimba lawmakers claims that all the County Chairman acted in the same manner as the Nimba County Chairman, drawing conclusion that it is a telling sign that the party is being catapulted to crisis by design.
Meanwhile, Dunah announces a motion for reconsideration given that the meeting was conducted by the Roberts’ rule and urges that the Motion serves as a Stay Order on the move.
He says a comprehensive written motion of reconsideration will be filed with the Office of the Secretary General of the party on Monday, 15 January.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley