Ex-presidential candidate in the 2011 elections, retired U.N. envoy Cllr. Winston Tubman, joins the Alternative National Congress (ANC) of entrepreneur turned politician, Alexander Benedict Cummings, barely 39 days to elections here.
Tubman, who lost the 2011 polls to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in a runoff, declares his membership with the ANC on Thursday, 31 August in an elaborate ceremony characterized by pageantry and traditional dance from his ethnic Grebo tribe supported by battle cry unit of the party at its headquarters on 24th Street, Monrovia.
The reception, symbolic of a victory celebration, was greeted by jubilant crowd, including partisans, sympathizers and well-wishers. Cllr. Tubman first tasted Liberia’s electioneering process during the 2005 elections when he contested along with Jeremiah Sulunteh as standard bearer of the ex-ruling National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) of slain President Samuel Kanyon Doe.
Coincidentally, Sulunteh, an ex-ambassador, is the current running mate of ANC leader, Cummings. Tubman tried making a comeback recently with the grand old True Whig Party, but lost the party’s primary and quickly ran to the National Elections Commission with a complaint of being cheated. He subsequently lost the ruling.
Speaking at the program, ANC flag bearer Cummings says the party is prepared in every capacity to win the October elections in the first round, a brag nearly all of the major contenders in the race are making here.
No party had attained a first round victory in the past two elections, and it remains to be seen how this miracle is to be achieved in a race of 21 candidates, including six Independent Candidates competing for the votes of 2,183,683 registered voters across the country.
According to the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, for a party or Independent Candidate to be declared winner of the presidency, it must obtain 50 percent plus one of the total votes cast.
But Cummings, a newcomer, maintains that the ANC is working to unbalance rival political parties, including the Coalition for Democratic Change, particularly here in Montserrado; to unseat the Liberty Party in Grand Bassa, and to unsettle the governing Unity Party in Lofa County.
He calls on his supporters and partisans to create the mindset of winning these elections both for the House of Representatives and the presidency.According to him, Liberians have tried the old method, which is not taking the country anywhere, suggesting that Liberia needs new approach in governance that would change the livelihood of the people.
He vows to move Liberia to the 21st century under an ANC-led administration to be able to compete globally, and announces newly found friend, Cllr. Tubman as senior political advisor to his campaign team.
Tubman promises to work tirelessly to ensure that the ANC’s dream of winning the presidency becomes a reality, and brags of having thousands of supporters that are willing to join the ANC and canvass.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne