Liberia: Former Senator Ballout Calls for United Opposition; Says Boakai Must Pick Cummings As Running Mate
MONROVIA – Former Maryland County Senator John Ballout has stressed 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.
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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.
The former Maryland lawmaker made the recommendation Wednesday at a news conference in Monrovia. He’s also harboring fear that there is a great risk that the opposition could lose the Legislature to the ruling party if they go into the elections divided.
Amb. Ballout: “The opposition must make a clear choice for what our objectives are and for whom are we fighting. It’s a must that opposition unites before elections. The choice before us is simple. The opposition can either unite and win the election first round or divide and lose.
“Today, I submit a possible way forward and that way is that, Ambassador Joseph Nyumah Boakai goes as the standard bearer of the united opposition, Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings goes as vice standard bearer of the united opposition, and that Senator Nyounblee-Karnga Lawrence goes as President Pro-Tempore of the Senate.”
Former Senator Ballout also recommended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will ensure that, Mr. Alexander Cummings is the next standard bearer of the united opposition, and that he will choose his vice standard bearer from the Liberty Party.
He recommended that the MOU that guarantees the incorporation of all opposition political parties, and grantee the significant inclusion of the All Liberian Party and all efforts be made to reunite the Liberty Party.
Ballout sees the four opposition leaders are people whose shoulders the future of Liberia country lies on. “Enough is enough, supporters of the opposition should now consider adopting a new posture of collective respect, partnership, corporation, and collaboration owing to the fact that we are all in this together.
“I join hundreds of Liberians to appeal to you political leaders to look beyond yourself and the political differences, political injuries and see the children in kindergarten, the millions of youths without jobs, the elderly without social security, and the thousands of drugs addicts and find the courage to forge ahead.”
Threat of impeachment
He also fears that a divided opposition will cost them the legislature and if by any chance an opposition candidate wins the presidency, that President could have a difficult leading and, on many occasions, could be threatened impeachment by majority opposition lawmakers.
“If the opposition goes into election divided it will lose the legislature to the ruling government it will win the legislature united paving the way for political, economic, and structural reforms to be threatened and constant threats of impeachment and non-compliance. Considering an eighty percent opposition will render the government completely useless.”
The CPP fight
The quarrel within the CPP emanated from an allegation from the political leader of the ALP, Mr. Benoni Urey, who alleged that he had received credible information that one of the leaders of the CPP had nefariously altered the Framework Document that was submitted to the National Elections Commission.
Mr. Alexander Cummings who chaired the CPP at the time the submission was made to the NEC vehemently debunked the allegation.
While an internal investigative committee reported that they observed subsutural changes in the Framework Document, the lawyers who worked on the document, upon review, admitted to making some structural changes as they deemed fit but failed to comment further on allegation of tampering, noting that the allegation has been made political.
Cummings described the legal action instituted against him by the ALP as a manipulation of the Weah-led administration and continuously claimed innocence until the charges against him were dropped by the government.