Liberia: Cummings to Name Charlyne Brumskine as Running Mate?

Headlining the ticket of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Alexander B. Cummings (left) is poised to name Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine as his running mate.  

... But if Brumskine is to agree, she would be one of the very few females to contest for the country’s vice presidency on the ticket of a major opposition party. 

The presidential candidate of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Alexander Cummings, might announce Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine,  the daughter of the late veteran politician, and founder of the Liberty Party, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine.

The young Brumskine is being considered for the country’s second highest office, not only in continuation of her father's legacy but in her own right as a lawyer and an enterprising woman.

Her late father was constantly in the top four during Liberia's last three postwars elections and  in the 1990s served as Senator for Grand Bassa County — which is the Liberty Party’s stronghold. 

However, it is unclear whether she would agree, since she already announced her ambition to contest for a legislative seat in Grand Bassa.

But if she is to agree, she would be one of the very few females to contest for the country’s vice presidency on the ticket of a major opposition party. 

It is however unclear how much impact Cummings’ naming of Brumskine would have on voters, given that she is relatively new to the open political space.  Yet, on the strength of her entrance to the race as a young professional woman, if played well, she could bring in both the two most coveted voter categories this election — the youth and the women. 

Those who know her attest to her firebrand and high-achiever persona and trust in her ability to fight for causes that would resonate with huge swathes of the Liberian people. 

Like her father, she scored the highest mark on last year’s Supreme Court bar exam — a sign of her preparedness to carry on the professional legacy of the late Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine. Her potential candidacy as running mate to Cummings could set her up to exceed what her father tried to do for many years but fell short. 

The announcement of Brumskine, sources say, should have taken place at the just-ended CPP convention in Ganta, Nimba County. However, the plan was aborted as the constitution of the Alternative National Congress, a constituent party within the CPP, requires that the naming of a running mate be done in the person’s county of origin. 

This means that the ceremony would now take place in Brumskine’s home county, if she agrees to Cummings’ request to be his running mate for the October 10 polls.  Such an announcement will have to be made in two weeks’ time.

Meanwhile, Cummings, in accepting the party’s nomination to continue as standard bearer, noted that while the ANC has not succeeded in convincing more Liberians to buy into its vision, “they still remain” the best alternative Liberia needs and deserves.

Cummings pledged to rid Liberia of endemic corruption that has stifled the underdevelopment of the country if he wins this year’s election.

“Unless we change the politics by changing the political leadership, we are stuck in this terrible state of underdevelopment and misery,” he said. “During my leadership as president, Liberians will work for their own money, no free gifts. We will not give you money, we all will carry out effective works including development activities together; we all need to work together for the betterment of this country.”

He then promised a government of inclusion, irrespective of political and religious affiliations, ethnicity, and that access and rights to jobs and opportunities would be strictly based on the merit system and the law.

He cautioned Liberians against political banditry, lawlessness and character assassinations of political opponents and adversaries, and admonished partisans of the CPP to act with civility during the campaign period leading to the October 10 elections.

According to Cummings, when elected president, there will be strict adherence to democratic norms and the merit system and that his government would reject the age-old practices including a brown envelope for lawmakers, which he argued is counter-productive to the principles of good governance.

Meanwhile, Cummings’ presumed choice of Brumskine comes after he was turned down by the embattled ‘political leader’ of the Liberty Party, Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, who has since endorsed the Boakai-Koung ticket.

The Grand Bassa County Senator announced that decision on Sunday evening, after collaborative talks with Cummings broke down, especially after what she termed as attempts by the CPP presidential candidate team to blackmail her into accepting their proposal as a precondition to regaining control of the Liberty Party from its chairman, Musa H. Bility.

Lawrence’s support for the Boakai-Koung ticket, however, has been met with strong reaction from the Chairman of the Liberty Party, Musa Bility, who has vowed to take legal actions against her if she continues to act in the name of the Liberty Party.

Bility argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling, which has given him the authority to lead the affairs of the party, remains in effect and, therefore, the Senator has no right to claim the role of a standard bearer while making her political moves.

The Liberty Party became factionalized between Bility as chairman and Karnga-Lawrence as political leader with the latter supporting Boakai for the Presidency and the former joining ranks with Cummings after the CPP fell apart in 2021.

The both have been in court up to the point of a Supreme Court ruling that out-favored Lawrence and gave the upper hand to Bility on the management of the affairs of the party.