Liberia: Collaborating Political Parties’ Cummings, Urey In Rare Public Show of Unity
MONROVIA – Mr. Benoni Urey, political leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP) and the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Mr. Alexander Cummings have often not been on the same page since forming the political marriage alongside the Liberty Party (LP) and the Unity Party (UP) and this often threatened the formidability of the Collaboration.
By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
Many have held the opinion that the pair’s failure to truly collaborate would continue to blur their chances of claiming state power from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change which also comprises three political parties.
The most recent altercation between Urey and Cummings was during the primary for the selection of senatorial candidate in Nimba County.
In September, the climax of the primary in Nimba turned chaotic with the ANC declaring that it will not accept the results of the primary that has declared the Liberty Party-backed Edith Gongloe Weh as the winner over the ANC-backed Taa Wongbe. The Liberty Party, however, said it would accept the results despite the controversial climax with its chair Steven Zargo telling FrontPageAfrica that his party supports the controversial election of Gongloe Weh over Taa Wongbe.
The primary issue was compounded by a lingering feud between Cummings and Urey. Both men have traded jabs over petty differences bordering egos even as the conundrum reaches a boiling point.
Mr. Urey has publicly declared that Mr. Cummings, in his own words, “was not fit to be President”, owing to his late arrival on the political landscape.
Mr. Urey says he prefers former Vice President Joseph Boakai. “People usually elect people who have worked in government. You don’t elect people who just come from a country and come to another country and want to be president. You elect people based on their experience and based on their reputation. And I think of the 3 candidates, Joe Boakai has the most experience; Joe Boakai has stood the test of time, and he’s a relatively decent person.”
As many took Mr. Urey to task over the timing and proximity of his comments, Mr. Cummings did not hold back, and has repeatedly expressed grave disappointment in Mr. Urey’s attacks, questioning the timing and impact of such a statement at a time when the opposition should be holding together.
Mr. Urey’s assertions, Mr. Cummings said last October, is a deviation from the objectives of the CPP. “Those assertions are far from the truth. When the four political parties agreed to come together on February 21, 2019 and we all affixed our signatures to the document, we decided to work together in a collaboration of independent parties and by 2023, put forth a single ticket for the Presidency in 2023.”
Mr. Cummings said at the time, he has supported Mr. Urey as the Chairman of the CPP and offered him his unflinching support during his tenure and also made financial contributions and was on the campaign trail to support his daughter, Telia Urey’s quest for the District No. 15 Representative’s seat.
Despite their lingering feud, Mr. Urey and Cummings were seen in a quite unusual collaboration campaigning for candidates of the CPP in various counties including Grand Bassa and Bomi Counties.
As chairman of the CPP, Cummings had said that he was going to work tirelessly with his colleagues in the CPP to ensure victory for all CPP candidates in the December 8 Special Senatorial Elections. He did and, of course, it paid off.
The CPP so far has won six seats in the Senate with the majority of the remaining being won by independent candidates. The ruling party has won at least two.
During the burial of his brother, Calvin Urey, over the weekend, Mr. Benoni Urey felt the collaboration with Cummings, Joseph Boakai and the rest of the CPP team in a rather touching way, transcending beyond politics.
He posted to Facebook:
“I understood the importance of unity today more than ever before. Today, we laid my brother, Calvin Urey, to rest and I can’t even begin to explain the way I feel. Calvin was my best friend, confidant and older brother.
“At a time, I felt alone, I was humbled to have my brothers Honorable Joseph N. Boakai and Honorable Alexander B. Cummings by my side. Several members of the CPP and some longtime friends were also in attendance to help my family and I give my brother the proper homegoing.
“I would lastly like to thank you all for the kind words and well wishes as I go through the toughest time in my life.”