Liberia: Boakai To Take Over Collaborating Political Parties

Monrovia – The standard bearer of Unity Party, Joseph Boakai, will on October 15 take over as chair of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) as part of a two-year rotational agreement of the four-party alliance.

Boakai, who turns 78 in November, will replace Grand Bassa County senator and current chair of the CPP Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, who has served the position more than its two-year period.

In regards to the CPP’s Framework Document, the four political parties – the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Liberty Party, the All Liberian Party (ALP) and the former ruling Unity Unity Party – agreed that each standard bearer will chair the CPP for two years.

The political leader of the All Liberian Party and businessman, Benoni Urey, was the first chair of the CPP, followed by former corporate executive Mr. Alexander B. Cummings of the Alternative National Congress, who was succeeded by by Kangar-Lawrence.

Ahead of Friday’s turning over program, CPP’s secretary general, Martin Kollah, has written to Unity Party that the tenure of Liberty Party would be coming to an end in line of CPP’s  rotational arrangement, specifically Article 9.3 3 of the Framework Document that binds the four parties.

In a communication to Unity Party’s  secretary general Mohammed Ali, Kollah wrote: “I am pleased to inform the Unity Party through your good office that the Liberty Party is prepared to transition the CPP leadership to the  Unity Party consistent with Article 9.3 3 of the CPP Framework Document”.

Recently, leaders of the CPP extended the mandate of Karnga-Lawrence, but the decision was rejected by some members of the CPP. 

Some argued that the decision by the leaders of the four constituent parties to extend Karnga-Lawrence’s mandate violates CPP’s Framework Document, stressing that the CPP does not have exclusive power to do so.

With two years to the 2023 presidential elections, Boakai will be inheriting a collaboration on the verge of collapse amid claims and counter-claims over the alleged tampering of CPP’s Framework Document that was submitted to the National Elections Commission.

Recall that Karnga-Lawrence accused Cummings of making a number of ‘significant’ procedural lapses leading to the submission of the Framework Document with the National Elections Commission (NEC) as chair of the CPP.

Among a number of allegations, according to the Grand Bassa senator, is the original framework that was signed on the 19th of May 2020. According to her, it did not have September or November deadlines for consensus building as was submitted by Mr. Cummings.

In his reactions, Cummings challenged Karnga-Lawrence to refrain from the act of deception and submit the investigative findings and the ANC’s dissent to the CPP lawyers for validation as agreed in their leadership meeting last Wednesday.

“If the lawyers confirm that the provisions of the Framework document submitted by the ANC to NEC is materially and substantially different from the amendments made by the lawyers and approved by the parties, then I will apologize to the Liberian people and take full responsibility. 

“However, if the lawyers find that what is filed at NEC is materially and substantially the same as the provisions in their Amendments, Benoni Urey and Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence must apologize, not only to me but also to the Liberian people for intentionally misleading them and threatening to destroy the CPP,” Mr. Cummings said on Sunday.

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