Liberia: Collaborating Political Parties Leaders Hold Emergency Meeting to Trash out Differences, Strengthen Unity

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MONROVIA – Leaders of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) agreed to penalize any partisan and executive caught making ‘denigrating, derogatory and insulting comments’ against partisans and leaders from constituent parties.

The decision was taken at a hastily convened meeting on Monday to reaffirm the constituent parties’ commitment to foster unity and uphold the framework agreement of the collaboration in the wake of growing apprehensions among partisans and supporters ahead of the CPP’s selection processes for standard bearer and legislative candidates for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

The meeting was attended by all four political leaders including Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence, Chairperson of the CPP and Political leader of the Liberty Party (LP), Ex-Vice President Joseph N. Boakai of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), Alexander Benedict Cummings: Alternative National Congress (ANC) and Wilfred Benoni Urey of the ALL Liberian Party (ALP).

The CPP, in a statement released after the meeting held at a local hotel in Monrovia said “The CPP is cognizant that over the course of the last few months, there have been growing public concerns over the “perceived decline” of existing relationship amongst leaders and partisans of the CPP. Consequently, Liberians with strong hope in CPP, who find the organization as the appropriate platform for redeeming Liberia and restoring their hopes in 2023, fear that this “perceived decline” would undermine the founding objectives of the Collaboration.”

With this in mind, CPP said the leaders of constituent parties through the National Advisory Council, Executive Committee, CPP Legislative Caucus, Secretariat and Standing Committees including support structures and diaspora branches have resolved and recommitted to the founding objectives of the collaboration and assured its partisans and Liberians in general that going forward, “All constituent parties have taken responsibility of the actions of their respective partisans and have promised to take actions against/penalize any partisan(s) and executive(s) who will make denigrating, derogatory and insulting comments against partisans and leaders from constituent parties.

It added that any such action will be consistent with CPP’s internal regulations and guidelines and constituent parties will ensure that all executives or officials will refrain from pointless accusations against political leaders, executive committee members, or officials of any constituent party.

The CPP, and each constituent party further agreed to propagate the decision to all its membership and endeavor to ensure that all members at various levels heed to this decision; adding that ‘all partisans and supporters of constituent parties within the CPP are mandated to make best efforts aimed at protecting and respecting all leaders going forward’.

‘Unity Is The Way’

The unity of the CPP, which comprises of the top four opposition political parties in Liberia has appeared gloomy and untenable ahead of the selection of its standard bearer and legislative candidates for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

This is due to result of heated debate among supporters of the political leaders, mainly Ambassador Boakai and Mr. Cummings over who heads the collaboration to face President Weah. These debates, often on radio and social media platforms sometimes turn acrimonious and marred by ‘negative statements and utterances’ amongst partisans and against Political Leaders and executives of constituent parties.

However, appearing on OK FM breakfast show moments before the ‘Reconciliation Meeting’ on Monday, Mr. Cumming, who has emerged as one of the leading contenders for the CPP’s standard bearer position alongside former VP Boakai, acknowledged that the only way the CPP can defeat President Weah in 2023 is to stay united.

“I will support the outcome of the decision, meaning we will support the standard bearer and campaign for that person because at the end of the day, it is the unity of the CPP which will enable us to make President Weah a one term President,” he said in a rather somber tone.

“It is not any one individual but the unity. Whoever is the CPP candidate will defeat President Weah and that should be our goal. We are going to accept the outcome and support the outcome of that decision. And make every way necessary to make sure we make President Weah a one-term president.”

The show was co-hosted by top radio presenters including Isaac Jackson of OK FM and T. Mark Jlateh of Sky FM. When asked why he considers himself as the best candidate for the presidency, Mr. Cummings said it based on his track record as a successful business executive and a result-oriented person.

He called on Liberians to judge the candidates by their past records.

“I want the Liberian people to look at everybody who wants to be president and see what have they done, what have they delivered. Whether they have done it personally, or in the private sector or whether they did it in government.”

He added: “And I think that is what we want. Liberians want a leader who give results, who is solution oriented, who will create new ideas. I keep saying we cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different result. We cannot keep electing people with the same experience and expect a new result.”

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