Why Cummings Did Not Attend the Blyden Forum -CPP Explains; PUL Apologizes, Working on New Schedule

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The Press Union of Liberia on September 8, 2020 formally invited ANC political leader and CPP Chairman Alexander B. Cummings to serve as speaker to its Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum slated for today, September 18, 2020. The Press Union of Liberia stated in its letter that while it is aware of the increasing wave of violence employed by politicians ahead of the midterm senatorial elections in the country, perspectives from important political leaders like Mr. Cummings will shed light on how the violence already witnessed can be stopped from reoccurring. Interestingly, the PUL in a September 17, 2020 press release also stated that, following Mr. Cummings’ appearance today, the Forum would host the Chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Mulbah Morlu, on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 and the Chairman of the Rainbow Alliance, Reginald Goodridge, on Friday, 25th September 2020. Rightly as The Analyst speculated in its today edition quoting sources that Mr. Cummings might not attend the said Forum, the Collaborating Political Parties has outlined reasons for Mr. Cummings defaulting to address the Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum today, as captured below in the full text of the CPP response to the PUL’s invitation.

Full text of the CPP response to the PUL’s invitation.

Hon. Charles Cuffey Jr.

President/Press Union of Liberia

Clay Street

Monrovia, Liberia

September 17, 2020

Dear Hon. Cuffey:

I regret to inform you that Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, Political Leader of the CPP is

unable to participate in the scheduled Edward Wilmot Blyden Speakers Series for

Chairpersons of Political Coalitions, from September 18- 25, 2020. According to your

published press released, the line of speakers includes Mr. Cummings for Friday

September 18, the Chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), on

Wednesday Sept 23rd, and the Chairman of the Rainbow Coalition on September 25th.

Hon. Cuffey, this arrangement which was not communicated to us but brought to our

attention on the eve of Mr. Cummings’ scheduled appearance is contrary to discussions

held and your letter of invitation sent prior to his acceptance. At no point were we

informed that this was a series intended for party chairpersons. We believe it was an

unintended oversight which could have prevented this situation. This is because, while

Mr. Cummings is referred to as Chairman of the CPP, given that he is the Chair of the

Advisory Council, the chair of the coalition is Sen. Daniel F. Naatehn who serves as the

chair of the CPP’s Executive Council. As such, the appropriate person to participate on

behalf of our coalition is Sen. Naatehn. Therefore, Mr. Cummings cannot participate in a

speakers’ series intended for Chairpersons of parties/coalitions in a line up with other

party chairs.

We are deeply concerned about the inconveniences this decision may cause at the

eleventh hour but we are left with no option but to decline the invitation at this time, We

recommend that Sen. Naatehn, who is currently out of the country, be scheduled to

participate in the Chairman Series sometime next week, upon his return. We hope in the

future that all relevant information is provided to us timely, especially when requested,

to enable us make an informed decision.

Mr. Cummings remains committed to continue supporting and working with the Press

Union of Liberia. He looks forward to participating in the Political Leaders/Heads of

Political Institutions Series as and when scheduled by your institution. We thank you for

your understanding and wish you success on the upcoming Chairman series.

Kind regards,

Aloysius Toe, JD.

Secretary-General/Head of Secretariat, CPP

Meanwhile, PUL has rescheduled the first in a special series of its respected Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum, which was slated for today, and apologized for the inconvenience this last-minute change may have caused. The Union in a press release stated it will work with the CCP and Mr. Cummings for a new schedule that will be communicated to the public, while remaining engaged with the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Rainbow Alliance, two political collaborations scheduled to have addressed the Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum on the 23rd and 25th September 2020 respectively.

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