BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – After spending nearly seven months with the opposition Liberty Party, Lawrence Bropleh has joined the Movement for Economic Empowerment.
Bropleh, the former minister of information, joined the new party on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, in the port city of Buchanan after resigning from Liberty Party a week before.
“I can confirm to you that I resigned from the Liberty Party and I like for everybody to know that I resigned without malice, hatred, and I have now found a new political home [with] the Movement for Economic Empowerment,” Bropleh told The Bush Chicken. “I am now a card-carrying member of that political party.”
The former Liberty Party stalwart said he resigned without giving the executives of Liberty Party any reason but said a participatory democracy like Liberia’s individuals have the freedom to associate freely.
Bropleh resigned from Liberty Party after withdrawing from the party’s primary held on June 8, 2017 in Buchanan.
Bropleh and the incumbent lawmaker in Grand Bassa’s third electoral district, Rep. Gabriel B. Smith, were told to bring 100 delegates each for their primary but on the day of the primary, Smith’s delegates were in full attendance while only 91 of Bropleh’s delegates were present.
Liberty Party’s primary process works in such a way that each candidate brings an equal number of delegates to the caucus, where each candidate lays out their respective platforms and try to sway other delegates to vote for them.
Starting out with only 91 delegates, Bropleh would have been at a disadvantage. He pleaded with the party’s officials to replace the nine delegates but they refused on grounds that there would not have been enough time to change the voting materials for the nine persons. Bropleh then decided to walk away from the process.
“There was no primary, there was a process that, if satisfied, would have led to a primary,” Bropleh said, explaining his decision. “I withdrew at one point in the process, but look, my decision to resign from the Liberty Party was informed by many things inclusive of what I experienced in the process that would have led to primary.”
Bropleh said the Movement of Economic Empowerment has endorsed him to contest in the upcoming presidential and legislative elections.
“I joined the Liberty Party in January this year. In my heart, I’ve always sympathized with the Liberty Party, but for me, I am a member primarily for ‘party Liberia.’ Being in MOVEE now only gives me some legitimacy to exercise my democratic right,” he concluded.
The chairman of the Movement for Economic Empowerment’s Bassa chapter, Fred King, confirmed that Bropleh had joined the party, adding that he was the best person to represent the people of Grand Bassa, especially the district containing Buchanan.
“Dr. Bropleh has joined MOVEE finally,” King told The Bush Chicken in Buchanan. “He has signed the membership form and he is a full-fledged member of MOVEE to contest Buchanan district three. He is a man with a distinct character and a high profile so we can count upon him and as a party we will make sure that he wins this district.”
He explained that based upon the level of work done by Dr. Bropleh he can win district #3 and in fact he was the only person that applied to contest in the district therefore the party endorsed him.
“We believe in him based on the roles he has played and what he can do, because the House [of Representatives] is not a place to go and learn; it is a place where people go to articulate, discuss, and debate the issues and we believe that he can represent the people of Grand Bassa, especially district number three,” King said.
Grand Bassa’s third electoral district has at least seven aspirants now, including incumbent Representative Gabriel B. Smith, Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, Matthew Joe, Elizabeth M. Branwon, Alexander T. Bealded, and Albert Saah.
If Smith wins, this will be his third term as representative of the district. Bropleh, Barwon, and Saah are all contesting in the district for their second time.
Featured photo by David Sasaki