Liberia: ANC Former Vice Standard Bearer Quits Party, Cites Political Betrayal
Gbarnga, Bong County – Jeremiah Sulunteh, former vice standard bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) in the 2017 presidential elections, has resigned from the party in protest against the party’s decision not to support his bid for the Senate in December.
Sulunteh had sought to contest on the party’s ticket as candidate in Bong County after the party’s political leader, Alexander Cummings, endorsed his candidacy in December 2019 in Totota, lower Bong County.
By then, the ANC had not entered into collaboration with Unity Party, All Liberian Party and Liberty Party under the umbrella Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
The four parties, according to a press release Tuesday, July 14, 2020, engaged into a process of selecting candidates as enshrined in a Framework Document of the CPP. The four constituent parties, according to the release, went through “consensus building process” and agreed on the allocation of eight counties.
Bomi and Gbarpolu counties were allotted to ALP, ANC was given Grand Cape Mount and Maryland counties, Grand Bassa and Monsterrado counties were allocated for Liberty Party, while Bong and Lofa counties were given to the former ruling Unity Party, according to the CPP press release.
The allocation given to Unity Party to select a candidate in Bong County ruled Sulunteh out from contesting on the CPP ticket.
In his letter addressed to ANC’s secretary general Aloysius Toe, dated Wednesday, July 15, 2020, Sulunteh wrote: “I regret to submit this letter of my resignation from the Alternative National Congress (ANC), effective today, July 15, 2020. My conviction for this decision was predicated on the margins of a continued political of me, by the party and its leadership, since December 2019, in my bid for the Bong County Senatorial election, slated for December 8, 2020.”
“I am therefore convinced that the ANC can no longer live up to its original principles of equal opportunities for all, where “the ANC is the torch bearer for unity and peace; and where the ANC is the answer and the answer for all”. Let me wish the ANC good luck in its quest for political leadership.”
Sulunteh didn’t announce his next political party but maintained that he will contest as an Independent candidate. “Definitely, I will contest the election like I have promised. I will contest as an Independent candidate in December,” Sulunteh said.
“I regret to submit this letter of resignation of my membership from the Alternative National Congress (ANC), effective today, July IS, 2020. My conviction far this derision was predicated on the margins of a continued policing betrayal of me, by the party and its leadership, since December 2019, in my bid for the Bong County Senatorial elections, slated for December 2020.”– Jeremiah Sulunteh, Former Vice Standard Bearer, Alternative National Congress
Cummings described as “admirable” and said he appreciates his former vice standard bearer’s contributions to the ANC and Liberia.
Cummings said the ANC had hoped and planned to carry Sulunteh as its candidate for Bong County in the upcoming senatorial election but lost the county to another constituent party during the consensus-building party, adding that the party can’t field a candidate in the county.
“These are some of the sacrifices and compromises we have to make as parties in the CPP just as other parties have done. I am saddened by the resignation of my former running mate, but I also understand he has a political career to nurture and protect. We have been nothing but open and honest with all of our candidates throughout this process and we had hoped we would all understand the dynamics of a collaboration,” Cummings said in a release. Cummings wished Sulunteh best of luck on his political journey and promised to maintain the friendship and camaraderie they both shared. Cummings urged partisans of the ANC and members of the CPP to refrain from attacking Sulunteh personally, directly or indirectly, stating: “He has the right to exercise his constitutional rights of association, and I trust and believe he has made the best decision for himself.”