BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa County – When the standard bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings delayed in naming his running mate at the CPP recently held national convention in the commercial hub of Ganta, Nimba County, his critics felt that he may have run out of options after he was snubbed by Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence.
By Gerald C. Koinyeneh – [email protected]
However, that notion was dispelled following a massive show of support for Mr. Alexander B. Cummings and Cllr. Charlyne M. Brumskine by the people of “Bassaland” over the weekend in Buchanan when Cummings named Cllr. Brumskine as his vice standard bearer for the October polls.
The Port City of Buchanan was inundated with portraits of Mr. Cummings and Cllr. Brumskine. Large banners depicting the two officials at the Fair Ground in Buchanan, the venue of the program read: “CPP USA Chapter Supports Alexander – Cummings Fixer 1 and Charlyne M. Brumskine Fixer 2.”
At the entrance of the city, the chiefs and elders gave Cummings and the CPP delegation the County’s traditional welcome. The elders were joined by some famous sons and daughters of Grand Bassa including former Foreign Minister Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, former Information Minister and Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Lewis Brown, Byron Brown, former Grand Bassa County Representative and Madam Julia Duncan Cassell, former Gender Minister.
Declaring Cllr. Brumskine as running mate at the Fair Ground, Cummings said: “Today I stand before the people of Bassaland and the people of Liberia, very humble to be the standard bearer of the CPP. And I want to thank the people of Bassaland, and I want to thank the Liberty Party, but most importantly, I want to thank Estelle and the late Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine for this beautiful gift to Liberia, this beautiful gift to Bassa and the next Vice President of the Republic of Liberia.”
Cummings has remained firm in his commitment to promote an all-inclusive government if elected President. To demonstrate that, he opted to chose a female as his running mate.
Addressing thousands of partisans and supporters, he said with Cllr. Brumkine on the ticket, the voices of the women and young people will be heard.
“Most importantly, together, Charlyne and I will change Liberia. The women of Liberia will have equal partnership in the development of our country. The young people of Liberia will have good education opportunities, good jobs, good technology. We will transform and we will change this country.”
Party officials say Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine, the daughter of the late Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine, founding father of the Liberty Party (LP), brings a wealth of experience and a strong political legacy to the campaign.
Mr. Cummings agreed.
“I am very blessed today to have Charlyne as a partner. Charlyne is smart, Charlyne has integrity, Charlyn connects, she has charisma, and together in October we will win in the first round. We will start the transition and come January 2024, we will start the restoration of good governance and economic grown in our country,” he said.
‘Not a conventional politician’
In her acceptance speech, Cllr. Brumskine thanked Mr. Cummings for the confidence and pledged to work alongside him as they launched a ‘peaceful revolution” to make Liberia better.
“Our revolution will be peaceful and intentional. It will fight with small whisper of hope, and will end with a loud cry of change at the ballot box. I am humbled to be Fixer Two and to serve this great nation. I promise you, I will work hard for you. I promised you I will hit the ground running. I will come to your house and I will come to your Churches… I accept this offer for you,” she said.
The eldest and the only female child of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and Mrs. Estelle Brumskine’s three children, Cllr. Brumskine, 47, like her late father, is already making headways in her law career. She is the founder and Managing partner of the CMB Law Firm (named after her) which was founded in 2018 and is now one of the fastest growing legal providers in Liberia.
Last year, she dux the Supreme Court Bar Examination and serves as a Professor of law at the University of Liberia’s Lewis Arthur Grimes School of Law.
Prior to being handpicked by Cummings, she had declared her intention to contest the Grand Bassa County Electoral District Three legislative seat currently occupied by Rep. Matthew Fairplay Joe of te ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
She brushed aside critics’ concerns that she is still inexperience to run as a vice standard bearer and should stick to her previous plan.
“Many of you expressed strong views about me staying with the representative bid and or as some of you put ‘starting’ at the bottom. To you I say that no revolution was born out of perfect timing, history was never made by those who followed conventional formulas of how life should progress,” she said.
“Societies in decline do not have the luxury to “wait your turn”. We must quickly grab the willing, best and the brightest. We must have an urgent sense of now! I am not a career politician and never sought out to be one. I came to the political discourse because I believe in a better Liberia. A Liberia of inclusivity. A Liberia led by honest, innovative, and courageous men and women. Leaders with a vision to transform our country coupled with the discipline and will to make the hard decisions to implement the vision.”
She said although she is not a traditional politician and have never served in government, she has served her country, Liberia in so many ways – as lawyer and helping to craft and review some of the progressive laws that are being passed to address current-day societal problems, providing educational assistance to scores of Liberian youths through financial aid, Professor of Law, and rendering humanitarian assistance in the health and other sectors.
She called on all voters to support the Cummings-Brumskine ticket based on competence and good track record and due to the urgency of now, and not based on years of experience in government.
“My fellow Liberians we should be less concerned with my years of experience in government and more concerned about the urgency of Liberia’s current situation. We are yet at another crossroads. Another opportunity to decide what the next 6 years of our lives will be. The gravity of the fast deterioration of our nation’s political, economic and social structures requires that we act NOW! The CHOICE OF NOW is urgent!
“We must understand that the CHOICE OF NOW cannot be relegated to a simple or mundane decision. It is a critical choice that must weigh heavily on each of us. It requires a deliberate action to separates us from the current systems of today and forces to make political choices that we have never made before.”
Cllr. Brumskine’s selection as Cummings’ running mate happened at a crucial time in the Liberty Party’s history. The party is split between two opposing sides- one with its political leader Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence and the other with the LP chairman Musa Hassan Bility backed by the Brumskines.
Addressing Mr. Bility, she said: Chairman Bility, thank you for holding my seat at the table. You shared with me the promise that you made to my father in 2014. You kept your word to him in 2017. Last year you also made a promise to me, you said Char because of who your father was to me, I will never fight you, I will never put any candidate against you, I will support every political decision you make, even if it is not with us. You said to me on more than one occasion that you were not doing it for me but for the memory of my father. Musa, thank you.
‘Liberty party lives on’
Also Speaking, Mrs. Estelle Brumskine, the widow of the late LP founding father said she was glad that her daughter is representing the Liberty Party at the national level.
In an emotional speech, Mrs. Brumskine congratulated her daughter on her political milestone and said it did not come as a mere luck but hard work and commitment. she noted that the family was proud of her, and was sure her late father was proud as well.
“I have told you – and you have seen it for yourself – this is not an easy journey! but keep focused, and continue to care passionately about what you believe in. with God’s grace, your unwavering dedication and commitment to bring change, your courage, and the support and prayers of so many people that are on board to walk this political journey with you, I believe this journey will be successful,” she said while addressing her daughter.
The Matriarch of the Liberty Party thanked Cummings for choosing her daughter as his running mate and said although the LP has been through a lot in recent years, the party lives on.
‘Findley Gets on board’
One of the highlights of the ceremony came when former Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley pledged his support to the election of Cummings and his running mate Cllr. Brumskine ahead of the October polls.
Mr. Findley, former Senator of Grand Bassa County and former President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate said the Cummings-Brumskine ticket is the best alternative to fix Liberia and called on the people of “Bassaland” to join him in his support.
Observers say Findley’s support to Cummings and the CPP is a big snub to President George Weah and his ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) under whose administration Findley served as Minister of Foreign Affairs until his resignation in 2020 to contest in the Grand Bassa Senatorial by election, where he eventually lost to the incumbent Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence.