All seems not to be well here in the four collaborating opposition political parties that want to deny President George Manneh Weah’s ruling Coalition for Democratic Change a second term at the ballot box in 2023, as a member of the CPP, the Alternative National Congress (ANC) warns against stage-managed process in the collaboration.
Other parties making up the CPP include the former ruling Unity Party, All Liberian Party and the Liberty Party, respectively. The ANC is headed by former presidential candidate Alexander B. Cummings, a strong critic of the Weah regime.
The party secretary general, Aloysius Toe sounds a caveat here, reminding the collaboration Mr. Alexander Cummings and the ANC have time and again, said, they will only respect and accept any results within the CPP framework that emanates from a fair, transparent and democratic process.
The statement came a day after the political leader of the All Liberian Party Benoni Urey, a fellow collaboration member announced that former Vice President Joseph Nyumah and leader of the ex-ruling Unity Party, is most suited to lead the opposition bloc against President Weah for the 2023 Presidential election.
Cllr. Toe says the ANC is a responsible party and intends to remain responsible and mature in all its utterances and dealings with those in the CPP and the Liberian government.
He notes that there have been attempts by some of their colleagues in the CPP to demean, denigrate and portray the ANC and its political leader negatively thru deliberate misinformation about the party’s position on candidate’s selection process in the Collaboration known as Voters’ Perception Survey (VPS).
“This is not the first time the ANC and its political leader have been denigrated and demeaned, and ridiculed by people associated with a sister party. This has become a pattern against the ANC. The scars and losses from Cape Mount to the CPP are still fresh on our minds, all from the same people,” he laments without specifically calling names.
According to him, the smear campaign against the ANC has been long and consistent; and the source has always been the same; adding, but the party has chosen to remain above the fray, and will not travel the sad and pathetic path of attacking, demeaning or denigrating any political leader or a sister party.
“We wish to make it categorically clear that at no time has the ANC opposed primaries. ANC embraced primaries. The VPS will not replace the Primary. What the ANC has done has been to demonstrate good faith, and offer a clear proposal for the selection of the Standard Bearer for the CPP. Fellow Liberians, these are the facts in the CPP concerning candidate selection, and they are irrefutable”, Cllr. Toe explains.He narrates the Unity Party (UP) proposed a consensus where the four political leaders would agree unanimously on who leads the ticket.
He adds the ANC proposed that if a decision is not reached by the four political leaders as to who heads the presidential ticket, then a Voters’ Perception Survey should be conducted where members will decide who they want to lead the ticket, and the decision would then be endorsed by a convention, a decision, he says, the CPP accepted in August 2019.
However, he discloses that in January 2020, the Liberty Party (LP) a members of CPP proposed the removal of VPS to be replaced by primaries and immediately, the ALP endorsed the LP’s position.
He noted that in the spirit of collaboration, understanding and goodwill, the ANC accepted the inclusion of primaries as a process but insists that in order to get a winnable candidate, the people must be a part of the decision-making process to tell us who they believe is the best candidate to head the CPP and lead Liberia.
Cllr. Toe explains further that prior to Mr. Benoni Urey’s press conference on February 19, 2020, a decision was already made by the four Parties that Consensus, VPS and primaries will be conducted where the results of VPS will not be binding but used for informational purposes only prior to primaries.
He details that the ALP opposed to the VPS being conducted before the primaries, and suggested that it be done prior to the consensus—a position the other three parties disagreed with.
He stresses the ANC strongly believes that without using a VPS process to identify candidates voters prefer, there is a chance that the CPP would select a candidate that has a very low or poor voter approval, causing a significant number of supporters of individual party and CPP supporters to choose not to participate in an election, since they do not like the chosen candidates.By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor