–But CPP will announce its side today
By Jerromie S. Walters
Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, the Political Leader of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and the Alternative National Congress (ANC)- has announced that he as a person will remain neutral in the runoff election but the CPP as a Collaboration will make an endorsement which will be announced by its Executive Committee.
Late Thursday, November 2, 2023- Cummings writes via his official Facebook page, “The CPP Executive Committee made the ultimate decision of which party to endorse in the 2nd round. The CPP is a democratic institution and as such, the overwhelming majority decision is final. The Statement of Endorsement will be delivered by the CPP EC.”
“However, I have asked the parties, and they have agreed to allow me to not take a side. Among several important reasons, we believe this will afford the balanced perspective needed to continue to engage, as the CPP has demanded that I do, with all of our political, religious, traditional and other national leaders, including with Liberians of all political, social and economic standing.”
The CPP Political Leader narrates, “A few days ago, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) laid out the condition for any endorsement of the two parties in the runoff. We also announced the setting up of a Committee of Five to discuss with the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Unity Party (UP) on the conditions for our support.”
“The objective of those discussions was to get commitments from the two parties for the incorporation and implementation of important elements, which we believe to be critical for the much-needed improvements in the governance of our country and the lives of all Liberians. CPP refuses to offer blind support without any reasonable commitments to change from the two parties.”
He says, “By making our conditions public, we did not necessarily intend to impose our will on any political leader or party. We were simply asking the runoff parties to make change a real obligation, and not just a political slogan. We know this was an unusual practice in our country, but we offer no apologies to anyone for the audacity we have to believe in real change. And so, we thank the two parties for engaging with us in these discussions. The Committee has reported that it had meaningful engagements and discussions with both parties We thank both parties for their willingness to discuss these matters of critical national concerns.”
“As we know, it is difficult to engage meaningfully and constructively if one is perceived to be politically biased or prejudiced. Furthermore, I am hopeful that this position will help our country, both in the short and long term, to work for the unity and reconciliation of all of our people and leaders, especially after a contentious election that threatens to further divide our people. Not personally choosing a side will also help in a more effective engagement with our international partners.!There is also the concern that while we will not legally object to moving ahead with the runoff as announced, we have informed the NEC, and have yet to receive a reply, concerning our request to undertake an investigation, including a forensic examination of the ballot papers. While this is still pending, we do not feel justified to proceed as if we did not personally sign the communication to the NEC along with two other presidential candidates. While this is ongoing, I cannot, at the same time, appear to take a side in the runoff which is the outcome of the first round of elections we’re still hopeful of investigating.”
Finally, he encouraged- My fellow Liberians: We should not all agree on everything. But we must never disagree to keep our country safe and peaceful. Elections are inherently divisive. But on the otherside is a nation we must remain faithful to and committed to building. The road ahead is going to be tough. Change is hard. But like they say, change is the only constant in the lives of people. We must never give up on trying to change. We must never lose hope in the possibility of change. Importantly, also, we must never give up on our country. Liberia needs all of its sons and daughters to look beyond our disagreements to build a united and better future.. Let us work for a better Liberia. Let us ensure and commit to a runoff that is peaceful. And on the otherside, let us live in peace and shared prosperity.
Weah, Boakai engagement with Cummings
Like many never thought, both President George Weah and Amb. Joseph Nyuma Boakai visited Mr. Cummings at his Sinoe residence on the same day (Tuesday), October 24, 2023, and as anyone would obviously assume, it was to ensure the support of the CPP political leader who came fifth in the recent elections.
Over the last eight or more months, Cummings has not had a smooth relationship with the opposition Unity Party (UP). It all started from their refusal to tolerate his consistent stand of being the presidential candidate of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), to when he was dragged to court by them (ALPand UP) over allegation of alteration of the CPP framework document.
Since then, supporters of the ANC and the UP have been like opposition and ruling establishment. At some point, the ANC was even referred to as an auxiliary of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
Though Mr. Cummings and President Weah have not gone through rough exchanges, there have been some occasions when they both threw jabs at each other.
Weah is remembered for informing Cummings that the presidency is not about “Putting sugar water in bottle and shaking it,” a reference to Cummings’ service with the famous Coca Cola company. On the other hand, Cummings repeatedly told Liberians that Weah doesn’t care about the future of Liberians, and that he’s incompetent to lead the state.
October 10, 2023, and the runoff
The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia has released the final results from the recently concluded elections, setting the stage for a runoff scheduled for November 14. The NEC declared that after a thorough and transparent electoral process, no candidate secured the 50% +1 vote majority to claim an outright victory.
“With the results of the 10 October polls showing that no presidential ticket obtained 50% of the votes, a runoff elections is hereby declared to be held on Tuesday, 14 November between the two tickets that obtained the highest votes of the CDC and UP,” the NEC boss revealed
At a press conference held at the NEC headquarters, Tuesday, October 24, 2023, NEC Chairperson, Madam Davidetta Browne Lasannah, revealed the final tallies from the October 10 polls, with incumbent President George Weah leading with a total of 804,087 votes, constituting 43.83%, followed by former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai with a total votes of 796,961, accounting for 43.44%. With a turnout of 78.86%, citizens engaged in the democratic process, expressing their hopes and concerns for the country’s future.
The NEC reported that the runoff, slated for November 14, will be a crucial moment for Liberia. The two leading candidates, incumbent President George Weah of the CDC and former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai of the former ruling UP, will now intensify their campaigns, vying for the support of the voters who will determine the next leader of the nation.
As the countdown to the runoff begins, the NEC has urged all candidates, political parties, and supporters to maintain the spirit of peace and fair play. The people of Liberia are encouraged to participate actively and peacefully in the upcoming runoff election, exercising their democratic right to choose their next leader.
Security measures will be enhanced across the country to ensure a safe environment for both candidates and voters. The NEC, in collaboration with relevant authorities, is working tirelessly to guarantee a smooth and incident-free electoral process.
The NEC says it remains committed to ensuring a credible and transparent electoral process, upholding the democratic aspirations of the Liberian people. As the nation moves forward toward the runoff on November 14, all eyes are on Liberia, anticipating the peaceful and democratic transition of power.