Committee for the Merger of Liberian Political Parties
(For Immediate Release)
November 13, 2002
November 11, 2002; Five of the thirteen political parties that contested the 1997 Liberian elections have begun consultations aimed at merging into a single party. Senior officials of the parties have established a working group called the Committee for the Merger of Liberian Political Parties (CMPP) to immediately begin broad consultations among partisans in and out of Liberia and seek the advice of civil society and democracy institutions.
Participating political leaders, who have been contemplating the merger idea since 2001, have requested the CMPP to explore all possibilities in getting the opinions and support of partisans in Liberia and all refugee centers in West Africa as well as those throughout the Diaspora. The new party should be a viable political institution, useful in achieving genuine reconciliation and democracy.
Leading Executives of the five parties met in the American City of Philadelphia on Sunday, November 10 to set up the committee to explore the proposed merger. The former Vice President of Liberia, Dr. Harry Moniba, represented the Liberian National Union (party); Former Chief Justice Chea Cheapoo, the Progressive Peoples' Party, and Former Vice Chairman of the erstwhile Council of State, Alhaji Kromah for the All Liberia Coalition Party. Dr. George Toe Washington, former Liberian Ambassador to the United States represented the People’s Democratic Party of Liberia while Sahr Fayah Gbollie, Standard Bearer of the Free Democratic Party came for his party. Gbollie is also Acting Chairman of the (CLPP), which groups Liberian opposition parties with officials and partisans in exile. At the meeting, Justice Cheapo and Alhaji Kromah were unanimously elected to serve respectively as Coordinator and Spokesman of the CMPP.
The opposition leaders said it was time that Liberian politicians and their partisans demonstrate the will and readiness to unite in real terms, as divisiveness has been one of the forces undermining peace and stability in the country. They said while it was the constitutional rights of Liberians to organize political parties, it was also a responsibility for leaders in a small country like Liberia with a population of about 3. 5 million to reduce the number of parties as a means of harmonizing the people.
The leaders emphasized that in the process of exploring the possibility of merger, individual ambition for future electoral posts will be secondary. They said the collective interest of the political parties melting into one would be the priority. Every partisan of the participating political parties will have equal opportunities within the anticipated arrangement, and no politician will have any undue advantage, the CMPP declared.
The CMPP said that it was vehemently against only one or two parties existing in Liberia, but said it was encouraging other parties to join its merger effort to establish at least three or four parties in the country. CMPP believes it is necessary for some of the existing and pending parities to work toward actual merger in order to give the citizenry the opportunity of a workable unity in war-torn Liberia.
Released By Authority of the CMPP
November 11, 2002