The former ruling Unity Party on Tuesday, September 8, went to the poll to elect its new corps of officers, days after violent clashes marred the opposition’s primary in Nimba County.
The UP is a constituent member of the four Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) that participated in that primary.
However, on Tuesday, the former ruling party elected businessman Amin Modad to head the party as national chairman, replacing embattled chairman Wilmot Paye, who still has a case pending at the Supreme Court over his controversial dismissal.
Other officers elected were Madam Debah Varpilah, as senior national vice chairperson and Mr. Mo Ali, as secretary general.
Both Madam Varpilah and Ali are from the same county. It remains to be seen whether their elections will stand or one may have to give way for the other, simply because the UP constitution forbids two higher ranking officials from the same county.
This issue was raised after the results were announced on Tuesday night. It could be recalled in 2011, Henry Fahnbulleh, now acting Foreign Minister, had to relinquish his secretary general position days after being elected, because he and then chairman Varney Sherman hailed from the same county.
Meanwhile, at Tuesday’s polls, Mr. Amin Modad received 34 of the total 54 votes cast, followed by Senator Conmany Wesseh, 08 votes, while George Wisner collected only 05 votes and Ceebee Barshall zero vote, respectively.
The senior vice chair was won by Mrs. Varpilah with 27 votes, while Roland Giddings obtained 20 votes; Mohammed Ali, alias Mo Ali won the secretary general post with 24 votes, against Amos Tweh’s 17 votes, and Jacob Kabakollie managed with 06 votes.
During debate, Mr. Modad, whose father is a Lebanese and has a Liberian mother, was strongly quizzed to prove his Liberian nationality. In responds to the question, Modad encouraged concerned partisans to utilize the legal process, if anyone doubted his nationality, clarifying that he has never held a Lebanese passport.
For his part, Senator Wesseh came under scrutiny for alleged refusal to support former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai as standard bearer during the 2017 Presidential election, but he denied the information.
Instead the tough-talking River Gee County lawmaker narrated that he was actively involved into the campaign but was never given key role as was done in past elections.
Wesseh stated that at no time he had attempted to undermine the presidential bid of Mr. Boakai, saying the wrong perception out there is “dead wrong.”
Making her case to delegates, Madam Varpilah said Unity Party being the political party in Africa that championed gender equality should never be overlooked and that young women are observing the decision of today’s cloud, while encouraging more determined young women to come to the national stage.
She called on voters to reflect on the historic movement where female (Ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) redeemed the country and served with care and duties.
Speaking during the convention, Unity Party political leader, Ambassador Joseph Boakai called for unity, unifying force and reconciliation among partisans in order to make an impact on the national scene.
The party reportedly expelled its national chairman Wilmot Paye for allegedly taking ‘unilateral decision’ in violation of its constitution.
Embattled chairman Paye has since taken his concern before the Supreme Court for redress.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne