The interim leadership of the National Patriotic Party or NPP led by Mr. Randolph Cooper has taken the party’s ex-chairman Cllr. Theophilius C. Gould before the Montserrado County Civil Law Court at the temple of Justice in Monrovia to show reason why he shouldn’t be held in contempt for allegedly posing himself as national chairman of the former ruling party.
Move follows a letter from the National Elections Commission warning Coopers to desist from holding any convention in the absence of settling a leadership dispute which has been before the commission. The NPP, which is the political wing of the defunct rebels National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) led by ex-President Charles Taylor won an ECOWAS-sponsored Special Election in 1997, but was ousted in 2003 following a bloody rebellion.
Mr. Cooper, who walked into the offices of The NewDawn last Wednesday, July 29, says he expects the National Elections Commission to give go ahead to the 6th Biennial Convention of the party following its investigation.
“My optimism is based on the fact that there is a court injunction on T.C. Gould not to operate the party. Additionally, T.C. tenure ended last December so he has no legal right to act as chairman”, he argued. The NEC has warned against the conduct of convention in the absence of full resolution of the current leadership crisis engulfing the party.
In a letter to Mr. Cooper, who had already organized a convention, NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya warned that attempt any of the rival group to hold convention amidst the current crisis will be considered an unlawful disobedience to the law authority of the National Elections Commission.
Mr. Cooper has promised to abide by the NEC decision pending full investigation into the current crisis, adding that the convention is halted until August 4, 2015 when the commission would have come up with ruling.
By Jonathan Browne