NEC Probes NPP Crisis…Warns Against Planned Convention, Until…

The National Elections Commission (NEC) says it is investigating the leadership crisis of the opposition National Patriotic Party (NPP), the head of communication of NEC, Joel Kenneth has disclosed.   Yesterday, this paper reported that the party is now ready for serious political business as it is expected to hold its National Convention this month to elect a new corps of officers.

The pending convention which followed months of controversies and leadership struggles according to NEC will finally be held before July 26.

Mr. Randolph Cooper who it was reported is the interim chairman said the NPP’s convention which should have been held last December could not go ahead because of some level of disagreements among some officials and members of the party which unanimously brought former President Charles Taylor to power in 1997.

Mr. Cooper at the time told the INQUIRER in an interview at the NPP headquarters yesterday afternoon that delegates from the 73 Electoral District of the country and various party officials from the political sub-division of the country will attend the convention which is expected to be held in Montserrado County.

Shortly after the publication, the man said to be secretary general of the party, Andrew Peters called this paper to express surprise and shock over the publication, naming Mr. Cooper, as the interim chairman. He said, “Mr. Cooper is nobody in that party; he is not even an official of the party.”

He claimed that Mr. Cooper and some individuals he described as “rebels” have besieged the party’s headquarters and are posing as leaders. He said the matter has been reported to the appropriate authorities.

Mr. Peters said the National Elections Commission does not even recognize Mr. cooper and his group , as they are impersonators and should not be regarded by the media and that about the convention; it’s a mere is a joke.

When contacted, Mr. Kennedy said the Commission is investigating the leadership crisis in the party while the commission’s board has met the two opposing parties.

He said the board will soon come out with its decision. He said for the meantime, the embattled chairman Cllr. T. C. Gould remains the Chairman until the board’s decision. “All correspondences and interactions of the commission are directed to Cllr. Gould,” he said.

On the planned convention by Mr. Cooper, Mr. Kennedy said, “No one has been advised to hold   convention.” No one can hold convention and no one is authorized to do so,” he added.

In recent time, the party has been engulfed with leadership crisis with the Cllr. T.C. Gould leadership and others over the holding of convention. There have been allegations and counter-allegations. Some partisans have even spoken of assassination attempts and also attempts by some officials to mortgage the party.

Efforts to get a word from Mr. Cooper proved futile yesterday, but a source close to him said the interim leadership would work with NEC to resolve the issues in the party. “What is obtaining in the party is not good, “ the source said.

The source said while other parties are moving ahead, the NPP is still engulfed in misunderstanding, adding “this is why we are willing to work with NEC to be able to hold our convention to end this leadership crisis.”