Following investigation, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has ruled that the two conflicting groups within the National Patriotic Party (NPP) have no legitimacy to steer the affairs of the party.
According to a press release, the Board of Commissioners of the NEC at a meeting with the conflicting parties Wednesday in Monrovia said in concert with the constitution of the National Patriotic Party, Counsellor Theophilus Gould was no longer qualified to serve as chairman of the party because his tenure expired since March this year.
Similarly, the Commission rendered the Randolph Cooper faction illegal because it has no legitimacy under the constitution of the NPP to steer the affairs of the party.
It stressed all activities of the NPP should be conducted in line with its constitution.
Meanwhile, in order to resolve the long standing leadership conflict within the NPP, the NEC has recommended that the two conflicting sides nominate five persons each from which six individuals would be selected to serve as members of an interim leadership of the party.
The Commission said such interim leadership would be chaired by a neutral partisan, who would be elected by both parties. The NEC further noted that in the event that the two sides fail to agree on any neutral partisan to serve as Chairman of the seven-member interim committee, the Commission will nominate a list of between three to five prominent Liberians, who are not partisans of the NPP, from which the two sides would be required to choose a Chairman.
The seven member interim committee would be required to take the NPP to convention in December this year in line with the party’s constitution. The T.C. Gould leadership and a so-called interim leadership headed by businessman Randolph Cooper had been at each other’s throats for the governance of the former ruling party founded by ex-president and rebel leader, Charles Ghankay Taylor.
Mr. Taylor is serving a 50-year sentence in the UK for aiding and abetting former RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. Editing by Jonathan Browne