The Alternatively National Congress is expected to boycott the ascension of Unity Party standard bearer, Joseph Nyumah Boakai, to the chairmanship of the Collaborating Political Parties.
The CPP, made up of four political parties, has a rotating leadership mandate, which has the political leader of each member institution chair the CPP for 8 months at a time.
The turnover ceremony, which takes place today (Oct. 15) will see the Unity Party, headed by former Vice President Joseph Boakai becoming the new chairperson of the CPP following an acrimony tenure of Senatoe Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence.
In a statement, ANC and its Standard Bearer Alexander Cummings said while it welcomed the Unity Party as incoming Chair of the CPP, their party won't be in attendance due to gross violation of the CPP’s framework document.
The ANC said its decision borders on the exclusion of the ANC from the planning and organization of the Turnover Ceremony, contrary to the practices of the CPP.
“We can no longer continue to tolerate a systematic pattern of conduct that willfully violates the established practices in the CPP,” says Daniel Naatehn, National Chairman of the ANC.
Furthermore, the ANC believes that the program is characterized by wrongful processes, illegal profiteering, and sectarian politicization; all practices that are alien to the cherished values of the CPP.
The ANC Political Leader, Alexander B. Cummings, stated that “the ANC will only participate in activities that are legalized within the Framework Document, which includes and binds all four parties, and will no longer be expected to ‘go along’ in good faith, as others are knee-deep in violations and bad faith actions,”.
"The ANC hopes that unlike the outgoing Chairperson Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, the tenure of the incoming Chair will see the CPP reverse course and recommit to doing the right things the right way, as we promised the Liberian people," the statement said.
The absence of ANC at such an important program comes at a time when bad blood is running hard in CPP over allegations that Cummings and his party alter the Collaboration framework document.
Meanwhile, leaders of two of the four institutional members of the CPP, including Senator Karnga Lawrence and Mr. Urey, have also endorsed Boakai as the best and most qualified person to represent the CPP as presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential and general elections.
Such bad blood had in the past lead to ANC subbing Unity Party unveiling of Amb. Boakai was it candidate to contest the CPP standard-bearer a month ago.
Back then, the ANC accused the UP of deriving its aspirant for the CPP standard bearer position through a process outside of a national convention falls short of the core values of the CPP as stated in Section 3.1.2, “Good governance; including in particular, inclusiveness, participation, accountability, and transparency,” Cummings said.
However, UP rebuke ANC and denied that it was acting against the CPP framework document.
And recently, the outgoing CPP chair and political leader of the Liberty Party, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, directly accused the ANC and Cummings
of illegally modifying the framework that brought the CPP together.
Sen. Karnga-Lawrence’s accusation against Cummings comes in the wake of a CPP investigative report that stemmed from an allegation by Benoni Urey that the CPP Framework document was filed at the National Election Commission (NEC) was tampered with.
“In light of the violations in procedures and content change, it is reasonable enough that Mr. Cummings summons the courage to take ownership of all that has transpired and the crisis thereof,” argued Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence.
According to her, the investigative report shows the infractions, procedural transgressions, and fraudulent inclines, as captured in the investigative findings, transpired “under and during the leadership of Cummings and the ANC”, who had the mandate and obligation to ensure that the procedures and other legal proceedings thereto leading to the “filing of the CPP’s Framework document with the NEC were done.”
Once again, the ANC denied the accusation, which has been running for about two months, and lashed out at their accusers for such a ‘besmearing, coordinated and vicious attack’.
Cummings added anyone who cared about the CPP, or the facts about this matter would have known “that I and the ANC acted honorably.”
“We have nothing to be gained by altering a single provision of the Framework Agreement. The Framework Agreement, which was amended by the legal advisors and approved by the parties, was that which we filed in time to be registered, and it has remained the Framework Agreement under which the CPP has conducted itself for more than a year, including successfully participating in the Midterm Senatorial Elections and other by-elections in the country,” Cummings added.