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NEC: James Biney’s leadership in NPP expires

At long last, the Hearing Officer of the National Elections Commission rules that Senator James P. Biney’s leadership of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) has lost legitimacy after the expiration of its tenure.

The NEC Hearing Office at the same time appoints former House Speaker Nyudueh Morkonmana to host a stalwart meeting of the NPP for the purpose of constituting a convention coordinating committee to take the party to its 7th Biennial Convention.

According to the NEC ruling, Partisan Morkonmana’s selection is based on a careful review of records available at the Commission, his independence, and public records.

The stalwart meeting mentioned in the ruling must be opened to all interested partisans, including the parties involved in the actions; and Partisan Morkonmana is further mandated to submit names of members of the Convention Coordinating Committee to the Political Affairs Section of the NEC within twenty-one working days as of the rendering of this ruling.

Thomas Plauto et al of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) on November 30, 2021, filed six counts of complaint with the Elections Commission, alleging constitutional breaches by the party’s Chairman, James P. Biney and others, for attempting to manipulate the list of delegates intended for the planned 7th Biennial Convention to have been held in Gbarnga, Bong County.

The complainants (petitioners) also claimed that procedures for the nomination of candidates to be elected to various positions were not followed; and that Respondent Biney, who has registered as a candidate to be re-elected as chairman of the party, has appointed a convention committee, naming himself as chairman of said committee.

The complainants (petitioners) presented in all of their submissions and arguments that the Respondents (Biney and others) have lost the legitimacy to govern the NPP, neither are they qualified to take the party to a convention by virtue of the expiration of their tenure in leadership.

“While we agree with the Respondents (Biney and others) on their argument of the law (NPP constitution) which requires that the chairperson shall preside over all meetings and conventions, we wish to also remind the Respondents of another provision of the same constitution which requires that the party proceed to convention in four (4) years for purpose of electing new officers”, the NEC rules.

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The electoral house adds that the party’s constitution must be considered in a holistic manner, noting that a person cannot be in violation of one provision of the law and enjoys rights provided under another provision. “Respondents (Biney and others) cannot enjoy constitutional protection to take the party to convention while at the same time violating the provision which protects their rights to enjoy tenure.”

Meanwhile, former House Speaker and senior partisan of the NPP, Nyudueh Morkonmana, has made a passionate plea to all stakeholders of the NPP to rally around him for a successful hosting of the stalwart meeting, as mandated by the NEC, in order to ensure an amicable resolution ahead of the pending 7th Biennial Convention. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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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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