In the wake of the Press Union of Liberia having extended an invitation to the Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties and Political Leader of the Alternative National Congress, Mr. Alexander Cummings, to address the Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum today on the Role of Political Actors in ensuring Free, Fair, Transparent and Peaceful Elections, speculations are rife that the ANC political leader might not attend due to protocol glitches.
According to the Press Union of Liberia in its September 16, 2020 press release, today’s forum is the first in a series of national conversations on the political climate in Liberia ahead of the ensuing midterm senatorial elections.
“Mr. Cummings is expected to commit his political alliance to contributing toward the conduct of peaceful elections, freed of violence and regard for laws,” the PUL said.
The Union further informed that the Blyden Forum is expected to also 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.
But pundits are highly speculative that the ANC political leader might not show up today for the Blyden Forum because of the shoddy speaking arrangement for the subsequent speakers, in persons of CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu and Rainbow Coalition Chairman Reginald Goodridge.
According to the CPP framework, the Chairperson of the National Advisory Council shall be the political leader of the Alliance and its official spokesman. He/she shall serve as presiding officer of the alliance national assembly and in consultation with the national executive committee of the CPP, shall ensure the convening and successful conduct of the national assembly.
“Mr. Cummings is referred to as Chairman because he chairs the CPP Advisory Council, but according to the Framework agreement, he is the Political Leader of the CPP. The actual chairman of the CPP is the chair of the Executive Committee, in this case, Senator. Daniel Naatehn. Moreover, Cummings is the Political Leader of the ANC and cannot be put in a speaker series with party chairs,” a source informed this paper.
Mr. Cummings’ Alternative National Congress (ANC) is a constituent member of the CPP which the Unity Party of former Vice President Joseph Boakai, Liberty Party of Senator Nyonblee Karga- Lawrence and the All Liberian People Party of Benoni Wilfred Urey are members.
Venue for the Blyden Forum is the Gymnasium of Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) on Crown Hill, Broad Street where the lecture will start at 1pm on Friday.
The journalists’ union asserted that it is confident that the Blyden Forum will help in getting politicians to obligate themselves to the holding of free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections.
The Blyden Forum is held in honor of the father of Pan- Africanism, a Journalist and a Liberian Statesman whose works as a politician led him to fleeing the country after his unsuccessful run for the Presidency in 1885. Some accounts have it that he lost the elections by a slim margin and fearing for his life in the face of huge popularity which competed with the election result, Blyden escaped to Sierra Leone.