Liberia’s former ruling party, the Unity Party (UP) says it was not evicted contrary to media reports.
In a press statement, the party said it was compelled to relocate due to the abrupt astronomical increase in rental of the properties that hosts its headquarters in Congo Town by the McClains family.
According to the former ruling party, in 2017, an outstanding rental arrears of US$180,000 was settled and an additional US$60,000 was paid for a year’s rental with a continuation of the lease agreement then.
“The Unity Party informs its partisans and the public that, contrary to media reports, the party has not been evicted from the Congo Town Headquarters. The party had a cordial relationship with the property owners and have been working out modalities for the smooth transfer of the property after both parties could not reach a resolution on the abrupt astronomical increase in rental,” the party said in a press statement issued on Thursday, November 4, 2021 under the signature of Mrs. Cornelia Kruah-Togba, National Assistant Secretary General for Press, Publicity and Outreach.
The party indicated that at the beginning of the Standard Bearership of Amb. Joseph Nyuma Boakai, in 2017, the Unity Party paid off its debt of U$180,000 in full and a further US$60,000 for a year rent and continued the lease agreement as was. At the payment of the said amount, the party initiated a discussion with the McClains about the high rental cost and basically agreed that further discussions would be held about the reduction in cost by 50%.
The former ruling establishment pointed out that upon the assumption of the Chairmanship of the Party by Mr. Amin Modad, the leadership of the party concluded that the rental cost did not commensurate with the current economic conditions and again reengaged the McClains for a reduction. The both parties had initially agreed in principle to the reduction of rental from U$60,000 annually to U$30,000 and that said rent would be paid on a monthly basis. Accordingly, the party undertook massive renovation amounting to approximately U$30,000 in recent times. To the dismay of the party, a few months later, the property owners informed the leadership of an increment in rental to U$100,000 annually instead.
At this point, the party’s statement stressed that the UP decided to relocate and discussed appropriately with the McClains. Lawyers for both parties have since initiated discussions on payment plans for the arrears owed the property owners. The UP is dismayed and disappointed that the McClains, a family that the UP has done favorable business with for years, have decided to politicize the rent issues by disseminating what was once a private matter between the two parties to the public.
“The Unity Party wishes to assure partisans, supporters and the public that this issue would be resolved in accordance with the extension given by the Court for the parties to dialogue on the arrears.
We would also like to inform the public that renovation works at our newly secured Headquarters, in Monrovia, are 80% complete and we are expected to turnover the property in Congo Town to the McClains by the end of November or early December,” the former ruling party mentioned.