‘Callers’ Want Cummings, Others to Form Cohesive Opposition Bloc

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Opposition leader Alexander B. Cummings

Residents, who phoned-in on the popular radio talk show, “the Costa Show,” yesterday, January 10, 2019, could not wait to express their desire for a unified opposition bloc which will work not only to seize leadership but to hold the current government accountable, in order to fulfill its promise to the Liberian people.

The callers, who raised concerns mainly about the state of the economy, corruption in government, waste, and constitutional violations on the part of the President, registered their concerns on the Costa Show when its host, Henry P. Costa, interviewed the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, on January 10, 2019.

According to the callers, they will not hesitate to support the ruling party for another term if opposition political parties refuse – on the basis of selfishness – to unite and produce candidates of good reputation and integrity to lead and restore the country from its present social and economic malaise.

Most of the callers, including the host of the show, were blunt in expressing their opinions that it is about time for people to subordinate their personal interests and seek the interest of the state by not just wishing for the highest seat (presidency) of the land but collaborating as a unit in order to bring up any person(s) who will lead – with the support of the rest – to lift the country out of the dust.

Collaboration of political parties was a dynamic that began to take effect in the 2017 presidential and legislative elections, ushering into power the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) headed by George Weah. Two other parties to the CDC are the National Patriotic Party (NPP) of convicted former President Charles Taylor and the People’s Unification Party (PUP) of former House Speaker J. Alex Tyler.

These political parties were able to form a coalition that has been branded as “Coalition for Democratic Change”. The CDC has produced George Weah as President and Jewel Howard Taylor (ex-wife of former President Taylor) as Vice President.

2017 elections

During the disputed 2017 election which led Liberty Party (LP) political leader Charles Walker Brumskine to proceed to the Supreme Court with a complaint, the four contesting parties, including the Unity Party (UP), the Liberty Party (LP), the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the All Liberian Party (ALP), came together under one principle in order to battle a dispute on suspected fraud during the first round of the election.

Since the runoff election on December 26, 2017, the four collaborating parties have been together, keeping watch on the ruling party and working in-house to compete with the CDC in the upcoming 2020 mid-term election for Senators as well as the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

Prior to that time, political parties had always contested elections independently, thus confusing voters as to which party to support in an election, given the large number of political parties that were formed.

Forming multiple political parties is an unrestricted right provided by the Liberian Constitution.  Article 77(a) of the Constitution states: “Since the essence of democracy is free competition of ideas expressed by political parties and political groups as well as by individuals, parties may freely be established to advocate the political opinions of the people.  Laws, regulations, decrees or measures which might have the effect of creating a one-party state shall be declared unconstitutional.”

This constitutional right and its effect on political decision in the country were spotlighted in the 2014 Constitution Review process, and many Liberians suggested a referendum restriction of parties into four or less; but the Liberian government, mainly the legislature, is yet to complete the referendum process.

Forming Coalition

A stalwart of LP, Darius Dillon, had said earlier that the only way the opposition can succeed in its quest to seize power from the CDC is to form a strong coalition which will combine supporters that constitute about 63 percent or more of the votes that went to opposition political parties in the past election.

In response to concerns during the Costa Show, ANC political leader Alexander Cummings said the four collaborating parties are working in-house to agree on principles and issues, and will come out with a consensus gradually as they move towards election in 2020 and 2023.

It has earlier been reported that he would not contest for a senatorial position but would remain a candidate to contest the presidency which would allow him to serve all Liberians, rather than a segment of the population.

This ambition sets the belief in many people – supporters and opponents of Cummings – that the collaboration would not hold, because all leaders of those opposition parties would want to contest the presidency.

When confronted by supporters of the ruling party on this issue, Mr. Cummings said they are in discussions and are planning to cement the collaboration step by step, reaching agreements on principles one at a time, to consolidate their status before presenting candidates in elections to come.

Cummings said Liberia needs emancipation from theft in government, waste, insincerity and dishonesty, corruption, and insensitivity to the plight of the people due to selfish ambition as demonstrated in the missing of billions of printed banknotes, purchasing and building of personal properties, and flying of private jets at the expense of the state, etc.

Earlier, the chairman of the Unity Party, Wilmot Paye, alluded that they are working to unite and that he is optimistic that the collaboration will end up in a cohesive coalition for success in the political competition ahead.

3 COMMENTS

  1. A united front against CDC? Okay. But I think that such a move is a complete waste of time. Alexander Cummings has no credibility. He’s had none from the beginning. Given that scenario, it is highly unlikely that his party’s merger with another group of Weah opponents will restore his credibility which was not there in the first place. The dreamers of a merger may dream on, but irrespective of how they try, the minds of the Liberian electorate will not change.

    Credibility destroyed:
    None other than Cummings himself exposed his own naivety during the 2017 elections. Cummings promised that if became president, he’d hire 100,000 Liberians immediately. First and foremost, the Liberian economy is too small to hire 100,000 employees on top of the existing civil servant employees. Cummings should have known this. Secondly, Liberia’s economy is not an export economy, but rather an import economy. On the upside, a few items sre exported out of Liberia. But that’s it! On the downside, Liberia imports more finished materials than ever. Yet, given such a bleak situation, Cummings promised faithfully that he would hire 100,000 Liberians immediately. A promise such as that which Cummings made naively was a harbinger! Also a snake oil which the Liberian people paid no attention to.

    Cummings complains that looters run amonk in the CDC government. If such a charge is accurate, Cummings and his acolytes have been unable to tell the Liberian people what he would do to ferret out the looters in his government. Why should he be taken seriously?

  2. Folks, like my late father Gbarlee Jah Wehtoe John Moses used to say -before his passing (1983) in King Willie Town, Sinoe County – ”Son, for Moses’s sake, let me hear far”. Because the simple truth can be summed up as follows: If the retired Coca Cola Czar so enamoured to running a country had an effective political strategy, since these vicious media attacks against GMW started in February 2018, his party would’ve won all subsequent by-elections. It didn’t!

    Simply put, Mr. Alexander Cummings is a tourist-presidential hopeful visiting Liberia periodically to parrot mostly baseless accusations from his paid journalists and Facebook amplifiers. With an eveready tiny group of would-be protesters on the grounds, the current operational course is to continue mounting well-coordinated malicious media and social networks pressure until perchance government overreacts with state violence that would lead to international outcry and widespread street demonstrations. It would seem they are more invested in stoking a probable uprising than doing the heavy duty of initiating small projects aimed at winning hearts and minds of voters even in Maryland Country.

  3. Alex Cummings, when Henry Costa interview you so what/ Why will you bring yourself to facebook for a major interview. Costa is a hustler who failed to graduate from a university in Pannsylvania running around around like chicken with out a head. Do you know how many persons Costa had supported in Liberia in the past? Boakai, Urey, Weah, Ellen etc. He a fake facebook man who use political aspirants for their money to fly between Liberia and America to make it look like he is a money man. Costa can not win seat in district 6 in Montserrado and you think his interview can make you win? You are a political cry baby for real. You have said nothing new to consolodate ANC, you are selfish, mean and act like the only book man coming to Liberia. We do not need your soft drink idea, we want development idea. Cummings will never form a coaliation with any political party for fear that he will not be picked, watch my word>

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