Liberia: Unity Chairman Modad Refutes ANC’s Cummings’s Illegal Endorsement Claims
Monrovia – Unity Party National Chairman, Amin Modad has debunked claims made by the Standard Bearer of the Alternative National Congress that the UP recent ceremony aimed at endorsing ex-Vice President Joseph Boakai as the party’s choice for the CPP impending convention was illegal.
In a letter to Chairman Modad, stating why he turned down the UP invitation to grace the ceremony, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings said he could not attend because the process was illegal and violated the framework that established the Collaborating Political Party (CPP).
However, Chairman Modad, in response to Mr. cummings, said the Unity Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) decision was not a violation of the CPP framework.
“Contrary to your assertion, our NEC decision leading to the affirmation of Ambassador Boakai was not only done democratically, it was inherently ours to make consistent with our constitution which empowers the NEC to make decisions in the recess of the National Convention; Ambassador Boakai was duly elected as Standard Bearer for six years and this period has not expired,” he stated.
He continued: “How much more profoundly democratic, inclusive, and accountable could the process have been, than the unanimous vote of confidence received by the entire NEC? While this is not the appropriate medium to counter all the concerns you expressed, I believe we have set the stage for all other constituent parties (within the CPP) fielding Presidential aspirants to follow in compliance with the CPP Guiding Principles and Core Values you referred to. It is our anticipation that all processes leading up to the selection of the Standard Bearer of the CPP will be conducted in a peaceful and cordial atmosphere.”
The UP Chairman also mentioned that his late response to the ANC political leader’s communication was owing to media hype that followed Cummings’ decision; adding that copies of the communication were already on various online platforms before he had the opportunity to access and acknowledge it.
“As it was being sensationalized and debated in the public domain, I was challenged to respond with prudence so as not to encourage the unnecessary trend that portrays acrimony within the CPP,” he said.
He warned that the deterrence of such actions, if not championed by the political leaders of the CPP, has greater propensity of exposing the CPP to disrepute than the constitutional prerogatives and democratic decisions of a Party.
He acknowledged that the UP regretted his absence as the party’s intent was genuine with the hope of further strengthening the internal relationships amongst the collaborating political leaders, but was quick to point out that the program went ‘extremely’ well and in accordance with the mandate of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
The CPP, Liberia’s biggest opposition bloc has been engulfed in a troubling internal wrangling in the buildup to the Collaboration’s primary aimed at selecting a candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
The collaboration is made up of four main opposition political parties that include Liberty Party (LP), the ANC and the All Liberian Party (ALP) and the immediate past ruling Unity Party.
Prior to his decision to boycott the UP program, Mr. Cummings walked out of a meeting convened by the chairperson of the collaboration, Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence, noting that the gathering had no agenda and as such he had no business being there.
Also in attendance at that meeting were former Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai (UP), Mr. Benoni Urey (ALP), Senator of the Liberty Party (LP) and the chairperson, who is also the political leader of the LP.
An earlier decision to extend the tenure of Senator Karnga-Lawrence as head of the CPP instead of ambassador Boakai taking charge, had caused rage among ANC stalwarts and supporters who felt that the political parties’ leaders were deviating from the framework document that consummated the collaboration.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, the ANC political leader acknowledged that he had earlier agreed with his colleagues to allow Senator Karngar-Lawrence to serve beyond her expired term, but later disagreed after he was advised by the ANC’s lawyers that the decision was wrong, and violated the CPP framework.
He noted that he cannot be a part of the wrongs that violate the CPP framework document; adding, the CPP must show it is the right alternative to succeed the Weah-led administration.
“I reached out to my colleagues to abandon the decision to extend the tenure of Senator Karnga-Lawrence but they were determined to carry on the plan, something that led to my walkout,” he said.
“A wrong is a wrong regardless of who commits it, including myself. Recognizing and correcting a wrong is not weakness. It is an attribute of leadership, and is honorable,” he noted, “doubling down on wrongs is dishonorable and a product of undemocratic leadership.”
He however, reaffirmed his party’s commitment to a united opposition in 2023; adding, “It is the only way to make President Weah a one term president.”
Though, the political leaders of the CPP have continuously expressed their commitment to stay united in order to defeat President Weah and the CDC comes 2023, skeptic and political pundits believe that the continued internal wrangling within the CPP, couple with the infighting in the Liberty Party may diminish the CPP chances of winning in 2023.