GANTA : Contrary to views from certain quarters that opposition political leader Alexander B. Cummings and his Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) do not have the mettle to unseat the Weah government at the October 10, 2023 polls, the show of support over the weekend in Ganta city during the CPP National Convention has left many in awe of the popularity of the CPP and Mr. Cummings’ ability to pull their weight in the upcoming presidential and legislative elections. The scheduled venue for the first National Convention of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) was the Peace Empire Hotel in Gompa City, otherwise known as Ganta, in Liberia’s second most vote-rich and Nimba County. The event was held last Saturday, May 13, 2023 with a parade of exuberant multitude of partisans of member-constituent parties including Alexander Cummings’ Alternative National Congress (ANC) and Musa Hassan Bility’s Liberty Party (LP), as well as sympathizers and well-wishers of the CPP, who locked down Gompa. The occasion attracted an unprecedented multitude of crowd, with some people donning red, white and blue T-shirts with face caps symbolizing the usual Liberian colors, amidst mixed costumes and party regalia depicting their respective political alignments.
The long-awaited historic convention was preceded by two separate auxiliary conventions by the ANC and the LP respectively on Friday, May 12, 2023, which were intended to select officials to contest elective offices at the convention of the umbrella institution, the CPP the next day, Saturday May, 13.
Although much was not heard about the LP’s discussion which was held behind the cameras, the ANC unanimously chose Mr. Cummings as their political leader, who they later presented to the CPP Convention as their choice of candidate for the presidency for the 2023 presidential race, setting the course of Mr. Cummings’ unanimous election at the larger political gathering of the Collaborating Political Parties.
These preliminary conventions set the stage for the main CPP convention which was already announced when the collaboration indicated that it expected 500 delegates from the 15 counties of Liberia including members of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), the Liberty Party, and other political affiliates and interest groups, including those from United States of America, Canada, and other parts of the world; although the announcement left unanswered the lingering question regarding who will be the vice running mate should Mr. Cummings be endorsed by constituent political affiliates of the CPP.
And so on Saturday morning, the streets of Ganta were swarmed by mammoth crowds of members of constituent political organizations uniformed in their mixed costumes with others wearing party T-shirts beautifully dominated by the national colors –Red, white and blue, bearing the picture of Alexander Benedict Cummings. Some of the parading enthusiastic masses of people waved flags of either the country, their constituent organizations, their counties from which they were delegates or the CPP flag, amongst others.
The occasion was characterized by the rhythmic sounds of the sambas, the sasas, the chanting of songs as the multitude of people paraded from one point to the other.
Amongst the crowds were some members of the ANC/CPP Legislative Caucus and their Chairman, Larry Yanquay who was heavily surrounded by crowds of CPP supporters. He majestically stepped according to the beat of the drums and the songs serenaded by the jubilant crowds.
Some were raising a song, “Zama-laway, zama laway Cummings ooo,” while others were answering, “Zama-laway, zama-laway Cummings ooo,” as the crowd surged towards the Convention venue, accompanied by a very tall masked dancer, and other traditional masked dancers that spiced the colorfulness of the parade.
Mr. Cummings along with his wife by his side wore a broad smile, waving majestically to the multitude of people. The celebrated political leader of the CPP was exuberantly cheered up, wearing a well-designed black and gray country cloth shirt with gray trousers, as marched with his supporters.
With the euphoria, the zeal and the elation that was driving the movement of the people throughout the streets, the parade finally landed the crowds at the Peace Empire Hotel where the normal program was held.
The euphoria was climaxed by the unanimous election of the ANC Standard-bearer Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings through his endorsement on white ballot by the respective party and district delegates that converged at the convention from across the country, under the watchful eyes of Convention Chairman Musa Hassan Bility, the Chairman of the Liberty Party.
Following his election, Mr. Cummings thanked the ANC for putting him forward as the arrow head of the CPP.
Mr. Cummings then promised to name his running mate in two weeks, setting May 27 as the date of the naming of his running mate.
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