NPP Chairman Biney talks tough …says NPP has no seat at the level of the cabinet
The Chairman of the former ruling National Patriotic Party(NPP), James P. Biney, has said Liberia deserves more than what the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC)-led Government has achieved since it came to power in five years ago.
Mr. Biney named some of the gains as the current of salaries, public universities are tuition-free, the Coalition continues to allow its political adversaries to co-exist with them in the same democratic space and they have kept the peace.
In a Special Statement at the 2nd National Convention of the People’s Democratic Party of Liberia (PDPL) in Tubmanburg, Bomi County on Saturday, December 17, 2022, Chairman Biney, who is also the Senator of Maryland County, nevertheless, pointed out that t is about time that, ‘‘we evaluate the performance of key actors in government. We must effect the change where it is appropriate to rekindle the hope and aspiration of our people. We must demonstrate that we have the capacity to effect changes in government when and where it is necessary.’’
‘‘As this government is considered a Coalition government, parties that brought the government into being must have the opportunity to bring their best to occupy policy-making positions in government. With barely ten months to elections, the NPP, a constituent party in the Coalition, is yet to have seat(s) at the level of the cabinet,’’ the NPP Chairman, who did not mince his words, asserted.
According to the NPP Chairman, this is not a good example of what a Coalition government should be.
‘‘If we cannot say the truth now to our leaders, what guarantees our supporters that we are saying the truth behind closed doors. We must exhibit the tenacity to resist that which is undesirable. That is one of the ways and means by which we can effect genuine change enhance unity amongst our people. Finally, let me say to you all, your party has great potential to survive into the future. You must jealously guide the democratic gains you have made. You must resist dictatorial tendencies, cherish your diversity and protect your unity. I wish you a successful convention,’’ he added It is against this backdrop that I speak to you today on your convention theme,” the NPP Chairman, who spoke on theme: ‘‘Building Unity in Diversity,” he said.
Earlier, Chairman Biney underscored that fairness is also a democratic tenet that unites political actors. As a Coalition, he intimated, they must endeavor to treat each other fairly.
‘‘When the NPP, the LPDP and the Congress conceptualized the idea of forming a coalition, it was our anticipation that we would form a Coalition Government that would govern in line with the aspiration of the Liberian people without compromising the executive power of the president and the laws of our country. What we have seen over the last five years is lopsided government in which the NPP and the LPDP are greatly disadvantaged. There are leaders of the Congress who believe that the NPP and the LPDP didn’t contribute much to the Coalition’s victory. They believe that the Congress, by and large, achieved the 2017 victory on its own and that the other two parties were of no effect.’’
On the contrary, he stated that many of them believe the Coalition would not have achieved the 2017 elections victory without the NPP, LPDP and those who joined in support following the formation of the Coalition.
‘‘In consideration of the two views, there is a fundamental question that must be answered – Can the Congress win the 2023 ensuing elections without the other two parties? If the answer is yes, then there is no need to renew the articles of the Coalition for Democratic Change. If the answer is no, then the other parties in the Coalition deserve to be treated fairly and respectably beginning now, not after the next election. If the parties cannot get their fair share now, what is the guarantee that they will get it after victory is achieved 2023. We cannot insist on business as usual and hope the situation will change down the road. At this point, the survival of the Coalition lies in the hands of President Weah, the Standard bearer of the Coalition,’’ he further stated.
‘‘The time is fast approaching when the country’s leadership will revolve around fewer political parties. As the country matures democratically, the numbers of political parties will shrink. This is the usual trend that all democratic countries around the world, including renowned ones on the continent, have taken. Liberia will be of no exception. A careful analysis of this trend shows that political parties that are built on firm democratic tenets and are governed by their respective constitutions and the rule of law will outlive the ones that are built around their Standard bearers or political leaders. The latter will diminish in relevance as their Standard bearers or political leaders diminish. It is therefore important that we build parties that are stronger than their political leaders,’’ the Maryland Senator averred.
‘‘Though LPDP may be small now, if your party continues to uphold democratic values, you are almost certainly guaranteed a place in Liberia’s political future.
The democratic principles on which your party was organized must be upheld by all of you at all times. Do not allow the one who bears the standard of the party or anyone to own the party or act as though you are their subjects and should work for them. If you have to disagree with your leaders in the interest of your institution, you must muster the courage to do so. If you fail to do so, you undermine the democratic fabric of your party,’’ the Maryland Senator, among other things, added.