MONROVIA – Former Vice President Joseph Boakai has told Daybreak Africa on VOA that he remains open to collaboration with other opposition parties, even the CPP which his party broke away from.
Amb. Boakai said though the Unity Party left the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), it never closed its doors.
By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
“Alex [Alexander Cummings] and I will always be friends and political collaboration is always necessary because we came together to defeat Weah and we’re still strong on that Weah needs to be defeated, we need all hands on board so our arms are always open to further discussions, we never close doors,” he said.
He, however, clarified that Cummings’ recent visit to his home after he was discharged from the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia was a mere family visit and they held no political discussion.
Amb. Boakai said the essence of the Collaboration among the opposition political parties was to defeat President George Weah and they, as the opposition, still strongly hold the belief that Pres. Weah must be defeated.
“I do believe that political parties and Liberians need to get together to see the need, even if we’re not organized political parties, we need all hands on board to remove this nightmare from our country, so, that is something that you cannot debate,” he said.
The 78-year-old former Vice President recently came under a barrage of criticisms that he is too old and frail to contest the October elections. These criticisms came after he was admitted at the ELWA Hospital for a week due to an undisclosed illness.
However, Amb. Boakai told the VOA that he is ready and prepared more than anyone else in the race for the presidency.
He disclosed that his visit to the United States intended to enable him have a medical checkup and at the same time meet with partners and other Liberians in the diaspora.
The Unity Party along with the All Liberian Party (ALP) headed by Benoni Urey left the CPP after Urey accused Alexander Cummings, head of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) of tampering with the CPP’s Framework Document. Cummings consistently denied the allegation and claimed that Urey was being used by the ruling CDC to taint his reputation.
Cummings was later charged with forgery and fraud by the Weah-led government. Boakai and other members of the CPP served as witnesses against Cummings. The case was later dropped by the government.
At the time the four opposition parties were united, the CPP appeared to be the most formidable political force that could unseat the incumbent.
In recent times, there have been mounting calls from political actors and members of the public for a united opposition, should Pres. Weah be defeated in the October elections.
Taa Wongbe, a former special aide to Cummings, is one of the those who has made a public call to Cummings to consider going the vice standard bearer to Boakai, while at the same time calling on Boakai to realize that Liberians are hoping for a Boaikai-Cummings ticket.
Wongbe noted that “it’s time that Cummings realizes he cannot win the 2023 election by himself and with Boakai in the race, so the VP option to Boakai is his best route to the presidency. If he really loves Liberia and believes the people are tired suffering, he must sacrifice his ego for a united opposition.
“VP Boakai also needs to realize that the ticket the Liberian people are hoping for is Boakai/Cummings. As an elder who is notoriously inconsistent in making decisions, he has to take the lead in pushing for that dream ticket, but Urey is seen by many as the major obstacle to this. Anything short of the dream ticket will ruin Boakai’s quest.”
Former Maryland County Senator John Ballout is one of those stressing the need for a united opposition for the pending presidential and general elections. He believes that a ticket that will carry former Vice President Joseph Boakai as standard bearer and Mr. Alexander benedict Cummings as vice standard bearer will be a one-round winnable ticket.
In his justification, he said owing to his experience in politics, former Vice President Joseph Boakai who served two terms is the most prepared to redeem Liberia. He added that Cummings being a person with the greatest understanding and knowledge and capacity to transform this country can make a good Vice President.
“It must be reminded that in politics and political arrangements, no one gets everything and in the midst of harsh political realities, there must be room for compromise for the sake of political strength,” he said.
He said, the opposition must make a clear choice for what thier objectives are and for whom they are fighting. He insisted that It’s a must that opposition unites before elections.