Liberia: Cummings, Urey Hold Tete-A-Tete


Monrovia – A day after verbal exchanges brought previously rumored strains within the Collaboration of Political Parties (CPP), the leaders of both the Alternative National Congress and the All Liberia Party reportedly sat down for a tete-a-tete Monday to squash out their differences.

Sources from both ANC’s Alex Cummings and ALP’s Benoni Urey’s camps confirmed to FrontPageAfrica that both men appeared cordial and entered the meeting looking optimistic and hopeful of putting their concerns on the table.

Monday’s meeting was the first time both men had a face-to-face meeting on their own without the other two former presidential candidates, Liberty Party’s Charles Walker Brumskine and former Vice President Joseph Boakai. 

The meeting which lasted a little over an hour at an undisclosed location in Central Monrovia reportedly explored the conclusion of the collaborative framework which is expected to make the CPP more institutionalized.  “The idea is to build an alliance of political parties. It was a good first meeting, a very good meeting,” said a source who was privy to the discussion but declined to provide specifics of the meeting. 

The tension between the two men heightened Sunday when Mr. Urey, the current head of the CPP used a social media Facebook TV platform to question the readiness of Mr. Cummings for the Presidency, expressing his preference for former Vice President Joseph Boakai. 

Said the ALP leader:  “I want to go first to the former vice president Joe Nyumah Boakai. Look , we must be respectful to our elders. I am a traditional man and we grew up with certain traditions.  We always respect our elders; and where we are today, we need people with wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the social, cultural, and economic, the political conditions we find ourselves today. And it’s important that we elect a mature person to the presidency. You know people keep making reference to Joe Boakai for being vice president for 12 years and doing nothing; that he was a part of a government and he accomplished nothing; and look, we all participated in government . 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.”

Mr. Cummings, in a statement Sunday took Mr. Urey to task for trying to distort his image.

Said Mr. Cummings: “I have read with grave disappointment, insinuations, from someone who I thought was a good colleague, Mr. Benoni Urey that I, Alexander Cummings, am deviating from the plans of the Collaboration of Political Parties(CPP). To the contrary, this is far from the truth.” 

Mr. Cummings said since the four political parties agreed to come together on February 21, 2019 and affixed their signatures to the document of collaboration, he has supported Mr. Urey and respected him as the rotational chair of the CPP and offered him his unflinching support.  “The Alternative National Congress(ANC) wholeheartedly supported the June 7th Save the State Protest and I personally was on the campaign trail to support his daughter and ALP’s candidate, Telia Urey’s quest for the District No. 15 Representative’s seat. Incidentally, she was the best candidate and is an impressive young leader.”

Mr. Cummings said he has done nothing but respected and lived up to the objectives for which the CPP was formulated. “For anyone to now try to paint me as something I have never subscribed to in my professional and political life is pathetic, absurd and raises questions about their motives.”

George Wisner, a senior UP executive, in a Facebook post Monday called for calm as the political leaders in the collaboration arrangement look to resolve their issues.

Said Wisner: “As a stalwart of the Unity Party and an advocate of the CPP, with cordial relationship with the political leaders of the parties constituting the CPP, I wish to reassure all partisans of the UP and well-wishers of the CPP that the collaboration remains stable and focused despite recent worrying developments in the media. All of the political leaders of the CPP are mindful that the interest of the Liberian people for a decent life and a hopeful future for their children remains paramount at this time.”

Mr. Wisner said supporters of the collaboration are mindful of the confidence that the Liberian people have reposed in them individually as Leaders of their respective parties, and collectively as a Collaboration to mitigate their sorry state and rescue them (Liberians) from the misrule and economic stagnation imposed on them by the CDC-led government. 

Added Wisner: “They are also mindful that the Liberian people are keenly watching and will hold leaders individually responsible for their actions or statements that might lead to undermining the interest and confidence of the Liberian people. Our leaders are hurriedly and frantically working behind the scenes to resolve lingering differences so as not to distract from the real task at hand . I appeal to all partisans of UP and well-wishers of the CPP to remain calm and refrain from any act, whether on social media or in the traditional media,  that may needlessly escalate the situation.”