MONROVIA: Long before the October polls, political pundits and perhaps ordinary Liberians, were unanimous in the view that the second most formidable opposition bloc in the country, next to former ruling Unity Party, was the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP). The assumption is woefully wrong, as per poll results being announced by the National Elections Commission. The CPP of Standard-bearer Alexander Cummings comprises the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and factional portion of the Liberty Party. They put up a brave fight during the two-month campaign period but now trails behind little-known parties and candidates. This seems to ring a bell and the party has alarmed, as The Analyst reports.
Madam Gifty Brown, head of an auxiliary group of the Collaborating Political Party, has slammed the outcome of the October 10 polls which put the party in an awkward forth position in terms of ranking of political parties earning significant votes.
The CPP, which noticeably vigorously campaigned during the last two months of campaign, trails behind Edward W. Appleton, Jr. of the GWD party and Lussine Kamara of ALCOP, not to mention of Unity Party and the CDC which are at the top of the scoreboard.
Regarding the results being read thus far, Madam Brown said is alarming and unacceptable, urging the National Elections Commission (NEC) to sit up and “correct all the errors to avoid going to our dark days”
Madam Brown who heads the auxiliary, Think-Cummings, said she was baffled by the results being announced thus far by NEC and wondered how Mr. Cummings, who has been engaged with the citizens since the end of the 2017 Presidential and Representatives and had widened his followership in the process, has not been able to have good showing.
She said NEC should not take the Liberian people for granted as anything that is not pleasing to the people could spell something negative in the country.
“The preliminary results have the propensity to cause problem; there is serious mistrust and there is a propensity of inciting violence,” she said during a press conference in Monrovia. “So it raised some concern for me as a Think Cummings auxiliary executive. I have come to let the press know so that these issues will be handled with care because we cannot allow what is happening to take us back to our dark days.”
With the results from the various centers, she said it is unbelievable the “Think Cummings” auxiliary that has thousands of members, continue to report very low voters in many polling places across the country.
She said: “I, myself, voted with my family members and it seems we got zero, according to the results and you can’t tell me, I, Gifty Brown, head of the auxiliary group that raised thousands of dollars to support Cummings, too did not vote for Cummmings. That is alarming.”
Madam Brown who appeared visibly unhappy when she spoke to newsmen over the weekend, urged Liberians and the opposition community to stand up not to violence but to ensure that the right thing is done with the way the results are coming out and not being reflective of what should be the numbers coming out for Cummings.
“This election is very important,” she continued. “The security of this country is at stake. I am concerned about Liberia’s future. So this should not be taken lightly; we are waiting for NEC to give us the final result but the preliminary results that are coming out are alarming.”
“We who are Think Cummings members are not happy with what is unfolding,” she complained. “Because there is no way that I will run a major political party and the results of such coming out. I don’t think we can sit down quietly and allow this to happen.”
She challenged the government to come out with evidence against Cummings who was accused of inciting violence when he reacted to the outcome of the results thus far.
“Let the government come up to state what violence my political leader incited in this process. So I am asking you NEC: please do not provoke the Cummings team. Do not provoke us because we are educated people and we are Liberians as well,” Madam Brown said further.
“We participated in the election and there is a need to take the elections very serious. We want to be peaceful; we want to be kind, but in the same token do not provoke us. We had a peaceful election and so we want a peaceful result, we are not here to incite violence in the people.”
Madam Brown further said the body language of NEC and the outcome of the result are enough to incite violence and called on the opposition leaders and the international community not to buy into what is happening right now.
“We are paying attention very keenly,” she added: “We want peace but in the absence of peace we do not want trouble. We are here and the Liberian people are anxious and the more you keep them anxious, the more things that will take our people in the dark days. Elections have the propensity to take the country back to the dark days but I am not saying we are going to go back but to exercise caution.
“Something is not adding up enough. Liberia is sitting on uncertainty. My organization calls on Liberians to resist those whose utterances are enough to undermine the peace of the country.”
Asked what could be the compelling evidence that she and her members including some family members actually voted but their votes were not counted, Madam Brown said she has the information of how she voted and besides, she mobilized many people, some of whom are her dependents to vote for Cummings.
“I, myself voted,” she retorted. “Forget about the others who will go to the polls and change their minds. So are you telling me that I did not vote too because the polling center I voted, I do have the tally sheet as I speak to you. That polling center reported zero for Cummings. So you are telling me as leader of my auxiliary directly that I did not vote? That alone I can show as an evidence because I know that my people voted.”
Continuing, Madam Brown said: “Besides, I mobilized my family members and other extended family members whose livelihood depend on me. I educated them about this election and what it means for the country. So you are telling me after everything they too will vote against my political leader?”
In responding to a question what she made of a Presidential candidate, Edward Appleton who has taken the elections by storm, currently occupying the space that some believe Cummings should be in terms of the outcome of the elections, Madam Brown expressed surprise and wonder how in the first place Appleton came in the picture because he did not engage the citizens as Cummings did, yet he was getting the numbers ahead of Cummings.
“The name of Appleton continues to pop up and there is no way the guy can just come and be pulling the numbers,” Madam Brown also indicated.
“I am not saying his name was not on the ballot but we are all human beings. You have to run a campaign to get followers. Where did this gentleman campaign? I didn’t hear his name. I just got to know his name at the announcement of results.
“How is it possible that this guy’s name will continue to pop up everywhere? And that is why I am saying NEC has to be careful and do the right thing because the future of this country is at stake.”
She allayed fear that Team Cummings or any member of the campaign team of Cummings or even the leadership of the party will think about venting trouble.
“No, there is no way we can go back to our ugly past. What we are saying is that the elections have consequences and you cannot keep putting the people in anger,” she said. “NEC should do the right thing because this is not what we campaigned for, spent a lot of money to get what we are seeing.”