The National Elections Commission (NEC) says it is not party of the recent reported convention held by the embattled National patriotic party (NPP held Monday at its headquarters in Monrovia.
The chairman of the commission, Cllr Jerome Korkoyah told this paper yesterday that the Commission does not recognize such convention because the party failed to adhere to rules laid down following as meeting with the two conflicting parties in the party.
For months the party has been engulfed in leadership crisis, with one group, headed by Randolph Cooper, calling itself interim leadership until convention, but those in the driver’s seat headed by T. C. Gould have considered such interim body as illegitimate, while the so-called interim leadership has accused the Gould’s leadership of overstaying its term of leadership.
Based on the request of the party, NEC intervened and held a meeting with the conflicting parties, after which, the NEC ruled that the two conflicting groups within the NPP had no legitimacy to steer the affairs of the party and believed that all activities of the NPP should be conducted in line with its constitution. The Board of Commissioners of the NEC at a meeting with the conflicting parties recently concurred in concert with the constitution of the NPP that Cllr. Gould was no longer qualified to serve as Chairman of the party because his tenure expired since March this year.
In order to resolve the long standing conflict within the NPP, the Commission recommended that the two conflicting sides nominate five persons each from which six individuals would be selected to serve as members of the interim leadership of the party.
Without abiding by the rules of the Commission, the party decided to go to convention, without the involvement of the Commission.
When the paper contacted Chairman Korkoyah, he maintained that the Commission was not part of such convention because the party decided to ignore the advice given them to amicably resolve the conflict. He said it was the party that brought the case to the Commission after which a decision was reached.
He said he was surprised to note that some individuals in the party try to drag the Commission to the conflict. Chairman Korkoyah said the Commission was never a party and would therefore “interact” with those said to have been elected.
He stated further that the interest of the Commission is to ensure peace and stability and it did recently with the country’s oldest political party, the true Whig Party (TWP), now headed by Reginald Goodridge after months or years of leadership crisis within the party. But he said the NPP decided to act otherwise.
“Again, let me say that the Commission was not part of the process and that the party did not abide by the rule,” the Chairman pointed out.
The Chairman, also a lawyer, said should the Commission accept such a convention outside the country, would mean setting a bad precedence; and on threat to take the Commission to the Supreme Court, Chairman Korkoyah said he has no qualm about that because the Commission has not done anything wrong.
Meanwhile, it has been gathered that some partisans, including Senator Dan Marias of Maryland County have protested the holding of the convention.