Liberia: How UP Exit from CPP Could Be Advantageous for Weah’s 2023 Re-election
MONROVIA – The standard bearer of the Unity Party, Amb. Joseph N. Boakai, has put the final nail in the coffin of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) by pulling out his party from the opposition conglomerate which, until Wednesday, he headed as a chairman. This move, many believe has further devalued the already dwindling morale of the CPP.
The Unity Party is the second political party to withdraw from the CPP following the withdrawal of the All Liberian Party which accused the Alternative National Congress of altering the CPP Framework Document. Though a fraction of the Liberty Party and the Unity Party supported the allegation, the ANC Political Leader, Alexander Cummings vehemently denied the allegation. He argues that it is only intended to tarnish his reputation and stop him from becoming standard bearer of the CPP.
Boakai, being the most experienced in the CPP when it comes to service in government and government operations, was expected to have been able to channel his experience and the respect he commands to quiet the hullaballoo and find an internal and amicable solution to the issues in the CPP.
However, he blamed his inability to mend the broken relationships in the opposition on Cummings, whom he said, failed to attend several meetings called to resolve differences.
He further stated that Cummings refused to take responsibility and apologize for the alleged altering of the CPP Framework Document as requested by the other political leaders of the CPP.
He said the only meeting that was attended by the ANC political leader ended in a confusion which prompted, him, Boakai, to call for an exclusive meeting where three of the CPP political leaders urged Cummings to accept responsibility for the alleged altering of the CPP Framework Document as a way forward, but he refused and proposed the setting up of a committee to probe the allegation. He, Cummings, however, failed to show up for the first meeting with the Committee, Boakai said.
“The much-talked-about trip to Ghana was a further manifestation of our pursuit to reconcile the CPP. The exacerbation of the conflict in the Liberty Party on the day of my return further deepened the conflict within the CPP,” Boakai said.
According to the UP standard bearer and former Vice President of Liberia, the crisis in the CPP was further deepened by the crisis in the Liberty Party as all efforts exerted failed to yield results.
“Fellow Liberians, partisans, supporters, and sympathizers, you are all aware that political disagreements are resolved through negotiations or consensus. Our willingness to continue a CPP depended largely on our honest interactions and cooperation. Sadly, as of now, we see no way forward and so we have all decided to go our separate ways,” Boakai said.
He continued, “Many of you have told us how disappointed you are, and we understand your feeling of loss. Do not despair. Even though the CPP did not work out, the Unity Party is working with orther political parties and individuals, and we can assure our supporters that there will be a more formidable and respectable partnership that will ensure president Weah is a one trem president. This we can assure you that your hopes and the hopes of all Liberians will be restored.
Only a United CPP
Former Senator John Ballout, a member of the Unity Party has condemned Amb. Boakai’s decision to pullout from the CPP According to him, it is only a united CPP that can defeat the ruling CDC in the 2023 presidential elections.
During the 2017 elections, President Weah’s CDC managed to secure 596,037 representing 38.37 percent of the votes in the first round. Amb. Boakai obtained 446,716 which represented 28.76 percent of the votes despite being an incumbent at the time.
In the second round, even with the support of other political parties, the Unity Party still trailed with 457,579 votes (38.46) compared to Weah’s 732,185 votes (61.54%) in the runoff election.
With the CDC now stepping up its game and delivering on more projects, it is likely that they will amalgamate more support using their incumbency influence.
The CPP on the other hand has faced the condemnation of many in the public for failing to manage their crisis and put the interest of the Liberian people above their personal egos and differences.
The CPP demonstrated the prowess of unity in the 2020 by-elections which took Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon to the Liberian Senate with an overwhelming victory. Prior to that election, Montserrado County was a no-go zone for other political parties as it was the stronghold of the CDC.
In that election, the CPP won Montserrado County with 354,898 votes (40.27%) which the CDC which previously held the seat got 246,908 votes (28.02 %).
Ballout is on record for predicting that Amb. Boakai will have more to lose when the UP withdraws from the CPP.
He said, “Joseph Boakai is the one who has everything to lose; the Unity Party Boakai has more to lose so he has to make sure that this CPP arrangement is indispensable for him – it’s untradable… If the Unity Party breaks away and goes on its own, where will it be going to? You’ll be going to exactly where you were when you lost the election in 2017… Nothing has changed, the only that has changed is a worsen situation because Amb. Boakai is no longer in power, he’s not an incumbent. He doesn’t have the facilities that he has at his disposal.”
Mr. Ballout lamented that some of the leaders of the CPP believe they can only succeed by bringing their counterparts down, noting that they will not be unable to undo the harm and disgrace they may cause to each other as their supporters continue to insult and denigrate each other’s leaders.
“We see that Cummings is being presented to the government by the CPP itself and Cummings is going through all of this, as soon as Cummings gets the worst penalty, if Amb. Boakai goes for the runoff, can he count on Cummings to come and support him?”