MONROVIA: Amidst the rising expectation from the public on which side the party will be leaning as President George Manneh Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) and Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai of the opposition Unity Party(UP) head to the November 14, 2023 run off, the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) has said it will today, Friday, November 3, 2023 reveal the candidate that it has decided to endorse just as its Standard Bearer Alexander B. Cummings said he was not personally involved so as to afford him to proceed with issues raised with the National Elections Commission(NEC) on the irregularities in the electoral process.
The position of Mr. Cummings was contained in his statement he posted on his official Facebook page yesterday, Thursday, November 2, 2023 where he provided some insights how the decision was reached to endorse one of the two parties after the negotiation team from the CPP met the two parties on the outcome of the conditions handed the parties that will inform the final decision of CPP on who to support in the run-off.
“The objective of those discussions was to get commitments from the two parties for the incorporation and implementation of important elements, which we believe to be critical for the much-needed improvements in the governance of our country and the lives of all Liberians. CPP refuses to offer blind support without any reasonable commitments to change from the two parties..
“By making our conditions public, we did not necessarily intend to impose our will on any political leader or party. We were simply asking the runoff parties to make change a real obligation, and not just a political slogan. We know this was an unusual practice in our country, but we offer no apologies to anyone for the audacity we have to believe in real change. And so, we thank the two parties for engaging with us in these discussions”, Cummings wrote on his Facebook page.
While stating that the Committee has reported that it had meaningful engagements and discussions with both parties, he said the CPP Executive Committee made the ultimate decision of which party to endorse in the 2nd round, stressing the CPP is a democratic institution and as such, the overwhelming majority decision is final and that the Statement of Endorsement will be delivered by the Executive Committee of CPP.
Cummings said he had asked both CDC and UP, and they all agreed to allow him not to take a side, adding “among several important reasons, we believe this will afford the balanced perspective needed to continue to engage, as the CPP has demanded that I do, with all of our political, religious, traditional and other national leaders, including with Liberians of all political, social and economic standing”.
“As we know, it is difficult to engage meaningfully and constructively if one is perceived to be politically biased or prejudiced. Furthermore, I am hopeful that this position will help our country, both in the short and long term, to work for the unity and reconciliation of all of our people and leaders, especially after a contentious election that threatens to further divide our people. Not personally choosing a side will also help in a more effective engagement with our international partners.
“There is also the concern that while we will not legally object to moving ahead with the runoff as announced, we have informed the NEC, and have yet to receive a reply, concerning our request to undertake an investigation, including a forensic examination of the ballot papers. While this is still pending, we do not feel justified to proceed as if we did not personally sign the communication to the NEC along with two other presidential candidates. While this is ongoing, I cannot, at the same time, appear to take a side in the runoff which is the outcome of the first round of elections we’re still hopeful of investigating”, Cummings said..
He urged Liberians that while they may not all agree on everything, they must however never disagree to keep the country safe and peaceful. He asserted that elections are inherently divisive “but on the other side is a nation we must remain faithful to and committed to building”.
“The road ahead is going to be tough. Change is hard. But like they say, change is the only constant in the lives of people. We must never give up on trying to change. We must never lose hope in the possibility of change.
“Importantly, also, we must never give up on our country. Liberia needs all of its sons and daughters to look beyond our disagreements to build a united and better future. Let us work for a better Liberia. Let us ensure and commit to a runoff that is peaceful. And on the other side, let us live in peace and shared prosperity”, he concluded.
Meanwhile, in a press statement issued by the party and signed Aloysius Toe, Secretary General of CPP, it said consistent with the decision of the Liberty Party and the ANC executive committees, the CPP will hold a major press conference today, Friday, November 3rd, 2023, at 12 noon at the CPP HQ on 19th Street to make a public announcement on the direction of the party in terms who it will endorse and support during the run-off slated for Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
“At the press conference, the CPP will announce its endorsement for one of the parties involved in the run-off election, consistent with mandates of the respective executive committees of the LP and ANC.
“All executives and partisans of the LP and ANC, all officials and members of the Women and Youth Congresses, auxiliaries, disabled and elderly councils, county chairs and district coordinators, are asked to be present and assemble at 11am at the CPP HQ”, the statement concluded.