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UL students urged to train party leaders

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Former Labor Minister Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe has asked a campus-based Student Unification Party at the University of Liberia to invite all political leaders, chairpersons of various parties and the chairman of the National Elections Commission for training on “how to build internal democracy.”

“I even want to suggest to SUP and maybe under the new ULSU administration that you invite all of the political leaders down town; the chairmen of the various political parties; invite the chairman of NEC and train them on how to build internal democracy,” Gongloe said last week during the induction of student leaders.

He argued that right now, “We do not have” real political parties in Liberia and those being operated here as parties were just “campaign committees.” He suggested the need to educate Liberians to rigorously screen people, who want to become their leaders, urging SUP and its administration to give such training to political leaders here.

Cllr. Gongloe, who fell out with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf following a cabinet shakeup three years ago, believes that what makes SUP strong as a student party is due to a very strong internal democracy, saying, aspiring leaders of the campus-based party have to go through vetting by a central committee and then face scrutiny with the rest of the students, unlike what he says is being practiced by parties down town.

He challenged the newly inducted interim president of ULSU Mr. Daniel T. Woart to extend invitation to political parties and leaders to go on the UL campus for training on how to run political party in a democratic state, if he wants to achieve anything in Liberia.
Cllr. Gongloe gave a scenario of the grand old True Whig Party or TWP, recalling what he said was responsible for the party’s problem when he recently served as keynote speaker its convention roughly two weeks ago.

During the TWP’s convention, Gongloe claimed to have told the party in the face that its first and last presidents were overthrown by violent coups because the TWP introduced “patronage, sycophancy, cronyism, nepotism and all of the evils that are still affecting us today.”

But he believes if the TWP that dominated politics here for over 27 years wants to be considered, it has to change the caucus system, because many of the parties in town are led by people, who learned natural politics, while the TWP still has the caucus system in which he says they meet somewhere and decide who becomes standard-bearer. By Winston W. Parley – Editing by Jonathan Browne

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