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CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITY PARTY OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA
FAITHFUL to the philosophy of unity, co-operation, friendship, political freedom and equality among all Liberians;
ACKNOWLEDGE our gratitude to God for inspiring our founding members in establishing a party dedicated to a free and democratic society;
REALIZING from many experiences during the course of our national existence, which culminates in the Revolution of April 12, 1980, it therefore becomes incumbent upon all citizens to promote, encourage and maintain democracy, whereby the will and wishes of the majority of the people shall prevail; yet protecting the interest of the majority.
DETERMINED to defend and protect the life, liberty, and property of all Liberians; and
RESOLVE to live in harmony, to practice fraternal love, tolerance and understanding as a people;
DO HEREBY make, establish, proclaim, and publish this constitution of the Unity Party.
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of the Association shall be the Unity Party, abbreviated UP, as hereinafter referred to the as the Party.
ARTICLE II – AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aims and objectives of the party are as follows:
- To promote and maintain national integration and unity among the people of Liberia regardless of social, economic, religious cultural and other differences;
- To promote and provide equal educational opportunities for all Liberians, with a view of eradicating illiteracy;
- To manage the national economy and the natural resources of Liberia in order to ensure the maximum economic development of Liberia and its people;
- To ensure all Liberians equal employment opportunities without practicing discrimination such as sectionalism, tribalism, nepotism, selfishness and other unwholesome practices;
- To encourage and promote co-operation and foster brotherhood among Liberians; between Liberia and her neighbors, other nations of the world, international bodies, especially regional organizations, with a view of fostering cultural, social, political, and economic development of Liberians and other peoples of the world;
- To promote and encourage the free movement of persons within and without Liberia;
- To promote and maintain equality before the law, freedom of speech, religion and peaceful and orderly assembly;
- To create a society where merit, productivity, selflessness, honesty, and integrity are the order of the day;
- To promote discipline, order and justice in order to achieve a society where there exists care for the sick, poor, helpless and underprivileged;
- To obtain a more equitable arrangement in the international economic and monetary system; and
- To foster sub-regional, regional, and continental co-operation in the areas of trade, technology, and education as a positive manifestation of the Party’s unswerving commitment to the unity of all people of Liberia, Africa and the world in general.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
The membership of UP shall be opened to all peace loving and law abiding citizens of Liberia who shall register with the Party and after registration shall abide by all the rules and regulations of the Party as shall be promulgated from time to time by the Party.
All members who abide by the rules and regulations of the Party shall enjoy equal rights, privileges and benefits.
ARTICLE IV – PRINCIPAL ORGANS AND OFFICERS OF THE PARTY
Section 1 –a. PRINCIPAL ORGANS. There shall be established the following organs of the party:
- The National Convention
- The Administrative Committee
- The National Executive Committee
- Such other committees as the Party shall deem necessary to establish.
Section 1-b. PRINICIPAL OFFICERS. The following shall comprise the principal Officers of the Party:
- National Standard Bearer
- National Chairman
- First National Vice Chairman
- Second and Third National Vice Chairman
- General Secretary
- General Treasurer
- General Auditor
- Legal Counsel
- Three assistant secretaries
- Any other officers as the Party may deem necessary to implement the affairs of the Party
Section 2. THE NATIONAL CONVENTION
- The supreme authority of the Unity Party shall be vested in the National Convention of the Party which shall meet every six (6) years for the purpose of establishing and reviewing general policies for the operation of the Party, acting upon reports, establishing or reviewing the Party’s platform, selecting nominees of the Party for the offices of the President and Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, adopting or amending the Constitution and general by-laws of the Party, electing the principals officers of the Party, selecting members of the Administrative Committee and National Executive Committee and such other committees as the Party may have established.
- The convention shall meet in the first week of August of every sixth (6) year, the date and venue of the Convention to be fixed by the Executive Committee. A formal announcement shall be made no later than three (3) months prior to the date of the convention.
- Representation of the convention shall include the Standard Bearer, the National Chairman, the First, Second, an Third National Vice Chairmen, the General Secretary, the General Treasurer, the Legal Counsel, the Assistant General Secretaries, the Administrative Committee, and the Executive Committee, who shall each have one vote.
In addition to the above, there shall be delegates form the various counties and territories as follows:
1. Bomi County 150
2. Bong County 150
3. Grand Bassa County 150
4. Grand Cape Mount County 150
5. Grand Gedeh County 150
6. Grand Kru County 150
7. Lofa County 150
8. Maryland County 150
9. Montserrado County 150
10. Nimba County 150
11. Sinoe County 150
12. Terriories 50 each
The Party may increase the number of delegates per county/territory whenever it deems it necessary at a National Convention.
- Each county or territory chairman shall, in the regular executive Committee meetings, allocate to the several localities in his County or territory, the delegates to which said county or territory is entitled, having due regard to the importance of said localities. Each such chairman shall secure a list of the names of said delegates to be selected in the usual way, from his/her local chairman and forward them to the General Secretary at lease fifteen (15) days before the date of the National Convention. Each delegate shall have one vote.
- Nomination in said convention shall be by a committee appointed by the Chairman, or in open Convention.
- The quorum for the transaction of the business of the Convention shall by two thirds (2/3) of the duly accredited and registered delegates attending the Convention.
- All decisions of the Convention except elections and financial matters shall be made by a simple majority of the delegates present. In the case of elections and financial matters, there must be a two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the delegates present at the convention.
- The officers of the Convention shall be the same party officers mentioned elsewhere in the constitution.
- For officials of the Party who are still members and who are not delegates to the National Convention shall be allowed to attend the Convention as observers.
Section 3. ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE
The Administrative Committee shall be governed and directed by the following officials: The National Standard Bearer, the National Chairman, the First, Second, and Third National Vice Chairmen, the General Secretary, the General Treasurer, the Legal Counsel, the General Auditor, Members of the Senate and House of Representatives who are members of the Party, county and territorial Chairmen and secretaries, fifteen (15) members to be elected from the counties and territories.
- The National Chairman, the First, Second, and Third National Vice Chairmen, the General Secretary, the General Treasurer, the Legal Counsel, and the three Assistant General Secretaries shall be nominated by the Administrative Committee after its initial establishment at its meeting preceding the Presidential Convention when the nomination of the President and Vice President of Liberia shall take place. The Assistant general Secretaries and the General Auditor of the National Party shall be appointed by the National Chairman with the approval of the National Standard Bearer.
- The Administrative Committee shall meet annually, the time to be specified by the National standard Bearer.
- The quorum for the transaction of business of the Administrative Committee shall be two thirds (2/3) of the members.
- The officers of the Administrative Committee shall be the same as those of the party officers specified elsewhere in the constitution. However, the Committee may establish such other officers and sub-committees as it may deem necessary to implement the affairs of the committee.
Section 4. DUTIES OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE
The Administrative Committee shall review and approve all recommendations of the National Executive Committee before they are transmitted to the National Convention. It shall discuss, inter alia:
- Any matter of general interest to the Party or likely to hinder or promote its efficiency and influence;
- Legislation submitted for enactment;
- Public opinion on the local and national scenes regarding the Party and policies which shall ensure a rapid development of Liberia in areas of trade, technology, culture, education, and any other area that shall prove beneficial to the nation.
Section 5. THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.
- The Executive Committee shall consist of not more than sixty (60) members constituted as follows: the National Standard Bearer of the Party, the National Chairman, the First, Second, Third Vice Chairmen, the General Secretary, the General Treasurer, the Legal Counsel of the Party, the General Auditor, the county and territorial Chairmen, the Assistant Secretaries of the National Party, Senior Members of the Senate and House of Representatives who are members of the Party, and the Vice President if a member of the Party.
- The Duty of the National Executive Committee shall be to take action on all matters affecting the Party during the recess of the Administrative Committee. The National Executive Committee shall make recommendations in the interest of the Party whenever it becomes necessary.
- The term of office of Committee members of the National Executive Committee, except the Standard Bearer shall be six (6) years. Members of the committee may be elected as many times as possible. All members shall remain office until their successors are chosen and qualified.
- In the even that a vacancy is created within the National Executive Committee due to death, resignation, incapacity, or for any other reason, the vacancy so created shall be filled by a special election to be called by the National Chairman.
- The National Executive Committee shall meet at lease twice a year, and whenever the National Chairman deems it necessary, at Party’s Headquarters or at some other place that the Committee may fine convenient. However, one third (1/3) of the members of the Committee can call a special meeting.
- All decisions of the National Executive Committee shall be made by a simple majority of the members present. Decisions involving financial matters, the endorsement of nominations, and other matters that the Committee deems crucial to the interest of the Party shall require two thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the Committee.
- The quorum for the transaction of the business of the National Executive Committee shall be two thirds (2/3) of the members of the Committee.
- The General Secretary shall notify Committee Members of the regular and special meetings by transmitting to each member a written citation and the agenda of the meeting at least two (2) weeks before the date of the meeting.
- The officers of the National Executive Committee shall be the same as the officers of the Party. However, the Committee may create additional offices as shall be deemed appropriate.
Section 6. DUTIES OF OFFICERS
- STANDARD BEARER:
- The Standard Bearer of the Party shall be the highest officer of the Party who shall always be the nominee for the office of the President of Liberia. He shall provide leadership at all levels of the Party. He also promotes the activities of the Party. He shall ensure a good relationship between the Government and the Party, whether or not the Party is in power.
ii) There shall be an Assistant Standard Bearer who shall be the nominee for the office of Vice President of Liberia. The Assistant Standard Bearer shall carry out the functions and duties of the Standard Bearer when he is absent due to sickness, death and other disability, until such disability has been removed or another National Standard Bearer is elected.
It shall be the duty if the National Chairman to preside over all meetings of the National Party and perform such other duties as are necessary to be performed by such an officer.
NATIONAL VICE CHAIRMAN
In the absence, resignation, death or inability of the National Chairman, the First Vice Chairman shall function in his stead, pending an election if there is a need. In the case the First National Chairman is unable to preside for any reason whatsoever, the Second and Third National Chairmen shall preside in that order.
ABSENCE OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN
In the event that both the National Chairman and the National Vice Chairman are unable to perform their duties due to illness, death or other incapacities, the National Standard Bearer shall appoint a member of the body to perform the duties of the National Chairman until such time as the disabilities are removed or an election is held to replace him/her.
THE GENERAL SECRETARY
The General Secretary shall keep the records of the Party, issue circulars to partisans, draw checks on the Treasurer, and perform such other duties as he may be called upon by the National Standard Bearer, the National Chairman or the Party to perform. He shall be assisted by three Assistant General Secretaries who shall be elected by the party.
THE GENERAL TREASURER
The General Treasurer shall keep all funds and documents of the Party and shall perform such other duties incumbent upon him. He shall keep all funds of the party which shall only be drawn by voucher from the Secretary, checks issued and signed by the General Treasurer under countersignature of the National Chairman. He shall keep all documents of financial nature. The General Secretary and the General Treasurer shall submit a financial report yearly at a meeting of the Executive Committee.
THE GENERAL AUDITOR
The reports of the General Secretary and the General Treasurer shall be submitted to the General Auditor who shall after auditing the same, submit a report to the Executive Committee.
THE LEGAL COUNSEL
It shall be the duty of the Legal Counsel to give legal advice when called upon by the Administrative Committee, the National Executive Committee and whenever it becomes necessary to represent the interest of the Party. He may be assisted by other lawyers if the Party deems it necessary.
- THE ASSISTANT GENERAL SECRETARIES
The Assistant General Secretaries shall assist the General Secretary in the performance of his/her duties.
Section 7. LOCAL OFFICIALS
- The party shall be divided into county and territorial sub-regions. Such units shall be called county and territorial parties which shall correspond with in number and size of the counties and territories of the Republic of Liberia. Each county and territory shall in turn be made up of local parties which shall correspond in number and size to the electoral constituencies for Legislature from each county and territory.
- Subject to the overall directives of the Party, local principal organs and officers shall be in charge of all party policies and activities in their respective counties and territories. The counties and territories shall implement all national policies, projects, programs, rules, regulations, constitutions and by-laws of the local parties.
- Each county and territory shall have a county or territorial Convention, county or territorial Chairman, county or territorial Vice Chairman, county or territorial General Secretary, county or territorial General Treasurer, and such other officials as the Party may deem necessary to implement the affairs of the county or territorial party.
- The county or territorial party shall also have an Executive Committee. The members of such Executive committees shall be: county or territorial Chairman, county or territorial Vice Chairman, county or territorial General Secretary, county or territorial General Treasurer, the Superintendent if he is a member of the Party, Member of the Legislature of the county or territory if members of the Party and a number of members of the Party residing in the county which shall be decided from time to time by the Party.
- All county and territorial Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, Secretaries, and Treasurers shall be elected every six (6) years immediately following the county and territorial Conventions. The time for local conventions shall be designated by the National Chairman upon the approval of the Standard Bearer.
Section 8. COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES
The National Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the General Secretary, the General Treasurer, and the Legal Counsel, as well as the General Auditor, and the Assistant Secretaries of the Party, shall be compensated annually if employed full-time; otherwise, they shall receive honorariums, the amount of which shall be decided by the Convention of the Administrative Committee. Such salaries together with other items of expenditure shall be covered by a prepared budget which shall be submitted for approval by the National Executive Committee to the Administrative Committee.
ARTICLE VI – THE WOMEN POLITICAL ASSOCIATION
The Women Political Association shall consist of all females from the age of eighteen (18) upward and shall be and auxiliary arm of the Unity Party of Liberia and have voting rights in the Party. This Association shall draft its own rules and regulations for the government of the Association and same shall be submitted to the National executive Committee for approval. The Association shall also make annual reports to the National Executive Committee on all matters affecting the interest and operation of the Association.
ARTICLE VII – YOUTH WING OF THE UNITY PARTY
There shall be organized in each county or territory a Youth Association serving as an auxiliary arm of the Unity Party of Liberia. This Association comprising all ages for the purpose of training in the procedure and policy of the Party, but shall not have voting rights in the Party until they reach the age of eighteen (18) years.
This Association shall draft its own rules and regulations for the government of the Association and same shall be submitted to the National Executive Committee for approval. The Association shall also make annual reports to the National Executive Committees on all matters affecting the interest and operation of the organization.
ARTICLE VIII – PARTY WHIPS
There shall be elected in the legislature if any of the Party members is elected thereto a leader of the Party for each branch of the Legislature by the Administrative Committee, whose duty it shall be to take charge of the Government’s business and of the interest of the Administration and shall act as Party Whips.
ARTICLE IX – PATRONAGE
The patronage of the Party shall be as far as practicable and possible, evenly distributed among the different precincts in each county and territory in accordance with the relative importance and strength of votes
ARTICLE X – APPPEALS
Aggrieved member shall bring to the attention of the Local Chairman in writing any complaint which he may have. Appeals from the Local Chairman shall be taken to the county or territory Chairman. If the complaining member is dissatisfied with the ruling of the county or territorial chairman, he shall have a right to appeal to the National Chairman, who shall hear the matter and upon approval of the Administrative Committee shall render a decision which shall be binding on the parties concerned, except a decision to expel a member.
In the case of expulsion a two thirds (2/3) vote of the National or Local Party shall be necessary. At every stage of hearing the complaining party shall have a right to be present and present his defense.
ARTICLE XI – ADMINISTRATIVE AND EXECUTIVE FUND
Every member of the Administrative and National Executive Committees shall pay TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS ($200.00) yearly into a fund out of which shall be paid yearly expenses for stationary, postage, special dispatches and the like. Members may make such other donations to the fund as they may desire or when requested upon decision of the Committees.
ARTICLE XII – PARTY FUND
- The Party shall generate revenue for the operation for the Party in whole or in part, from the dues and other fees that its members shall pay. The amount of dues a member is to pay annually shall not be less than FIVE DOLLARS ($5.00) per annum.
- An amount equivalent to fifty percent (50%) shall be retained by the county and territorial for its operation; the remaining fifty percent (50%) shall be remitted to the National Party.
Every member of the Party aspiring to an elected post in the government of Liberia shall within seven days after nomination, pay into the Treasury of the Party the following fees:
- Nominee for the office of the Presidency of Liberia – ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($1,000.00)
- Nominee for the office of Vice Presidency of Liberia – EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS ($800.00)
- Senatorial nominee – SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS ($600.00)
- Nominee for the House – FIVE HUINDRED DOLLARS ($500.00)
- Others – not more than THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($300.00)
The above constitute a part of the campaign fund
ARTICLE VIII – MICELLANEOUS
Section 1. If any member of the party shall refuse to abide by the Constitution, by- laws, rules, and regulations of the Party and after three warnings neglects to correct the violation, he shall be expelled from the Party by two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members present at any meeting of the party or at National or county or territorial Convention. He shall not be re-instituted unless two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members or delegates present at a National, county or territorial Convention for his/her re-instatement, upon the recommendation and approval of the National Executive and Administrative Committees, respectively.
Section 2. The Fiscal year of the Party shall be such a period of TWELVE (12) consecutive months as the National Convention may by regulation designate.
Section 3. The Party shall be incorporated and registered with the Elections Commission in accordance with the relevant laws of the Republic of Liberia and shall fulfill all requirements for the acquisition and maintenance of such a legal personality.
Section 3-b. The Election Laws of Liberia and Guidelines, if any, are specifically incorporated in this constitution and by-laws to form an integral part of the Constitution and by-laws of the Party.
Section 4. The party shall have an official scal, a flag, a motto, an emblem and such other symbols as the Party find desirable. Each symbol shall be approved by the National Convention.
ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS
Any of the provisions of this Constitution or the by-laws may be amended, added to, altered or repealed or a new constitution or by-laws may be adopted, at any meeting of the Party by an affirmative two third (2/3) vote of the members present and provided ninety (90) days written notice of the proposed amendment stating the purpose of the amendment or repeal shall have been submitted to the National Executive Committee for consideration, who shall in turn submit same to the Administrative Committee for its approval. If approved by the Administrative Committee, that Committee shall authorize same to be circulated to all members of the Party prior to the convening of the National Convention. All amendments to the constitution or by-laws of the Party shall be registered with the Elections Commission within fifteen (15) days of adoption.
ARTICLE X – RATIFICATION AND INTERIM PROVISION
Section 1. Upon coming into force of this instrument, the duties and functions of the National Convention, Administrative and National Executive Committees shall be discharged by an interim National Convention, Administrative and National Executive Committees. The delegates and members of the above bodies shall be selected from each of the counties and territories of Liberia.
Section 2-a. The Interim Convention and Interim Administrative and National Executive Committee, other Party organs and officials shall ensure that additional voters become members of the Party.
Section 2-b. The Interim National Convention, Interim Administrative and National Executive Committees, together with other organs and officials of the Party shall carry on the affairs of the Party and exercise the authority of its permanent organs for a period of two (2) years or until the holding of the first National Convention.
Section 3. The Interim entities and officials shall cease to exist and carry out the duties and functions under this Constitution upon the meeting of the first National Convention of the Party, and the regular officers are elected.
Dome at Monrovia, in the county of Montserrado, by the unanimous consent of the members of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the Unity Party, this 18th day of October, in the year of our lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Eighty Four and of the REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA the One Hundred and Thirty Seven,
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, We have hereto set our names and signatures:
Henrietta M. Koenig
Peter Bunner Jallah
McNeil H. White