Monrovia, Liberia- The National Elections Commission of the Republic of Liberia has declared the leadership of the embattled Chairman of the National Patriotic Party James Biney null and void, handing Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor a famous win in the power struggle.
The Chief Hearing Officer of the National Elections Commission mandated petitioners John Gray and others to take the party to a special leadership convention.
The power struggle in the NPP begun in November 2018 after an Executive Meeting was disrupted by violence when members of the Executive Committee met at the party headquarters to take punitive measures.
Following the disruption of the meeting, NPP expelled James Biney from the party, prompting the party’s embattled chair to formed his own faction in the party and organize an ‘extraordinary seesion’ in Bentol City, Montserrado County on December 1, 2018.
At Biney’s faction extraordinary session, delegates voted unanimously to expel Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor from the party. Mr. John Gray was also expelled from the party during the extraordinary session. In addition to the expulsion of both Executives of the party, delegates agreed to send a communication to President Weah urging him to recall the two expelled persons from their government posts.
Meanwhile, in his ruling, Cllr. Ville said that all actions taken by James Biney and Bolton Dennis after their expulsion and suspension respectively are declared null and void.
The ruling by NEC Chief Dispute Officer is seen as a slap in the face to President Weah and the CDC who sources say were behind the split in the NPP and subsequently supported all of Biney’s action.
The CDC Executives, sources say, saw Madam Jewel Howard-Taylor as a threat to President Weah’s candidacy in 2023 and intended to break the party apart, thereby eliminating her base. The ruling is a defeat to that quest.
In another development, the NEC Chief Hearing Officer has denied and dismissed a petition by Patrick Worzie and others of the Unity Party claiming illegal expulsion.
Cllr. Ville cited insufficient evidence by petitioners to support their claims.as