The ten year residential clause, coupled with his United States citizenship and of course the controversial code of conduct are nightmares that could force the standard bearer of the Alternative National Congress or ANC, Alexander Cummings to bow out of the 2017 presidential race which is within months, this paper has learnt.
Liberia’s Constitution requires a presidential aspirant to be domicile in country 10 years prior to election. It also bars individuals, who hold other nationalities from holding public office.
Article 52 © of the Liberian Constitution requires a candidate for the Presidency to reside in the Republic ten years prior to his election, provided that the President and the Vice President shall not come from the same county.
Mr. Cummings is a United States citizen, at least according to a listing by the Coca-cola bottling company based in Atlanta, Georgia of which Cummings is an immediate past executive.
But the ANC rubbishes that its standard bearer holds dual citizenship. The national chairman of the party has declared that the ANC is prepared to outspend, out strategize, and outnumber all political parties that are vying for the nation’s highest post in the impending elections.
Liberia is holding its first peaceful transition since the 14 years of bitter civil crisis here. Speaking to the NewDawn on Monday morning, May 8, at his party headquarters in Monrovia, Mr. Orashell Gould said, the ANC is prepared to unsettle every contender in the race by every available means.
He brags that Cummings has the needed resources as compared to other presidential aspirants and that the party is internationally connected to achieve its desired goal.
According to a biography of Mr. Cummings, in 2009, he earned US$4.77 million at Coca-Cola as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. His compensation changed -33.5% from the previous year.
With this compensation, the ANC leader earned significantly more than the average public executive and slightly more than his executive colleagues at Coca-Cola.
Mr. Cummings’ 2009 pay is broken down as follows: A US$700,000 salary, which is significantly more than the average public executive’s salary and on par with the salary of other executives at Coca-Cola. US$2,319,604 in option awards, which is significantly more than the value of the average public executive’s option awards and slightly less than the value of the average Coca-Cola executive’s option awards. US$1,200,000 in non-equity incentive plan compensation. This is significantly more than the average public executive’s non-equity incentive plan compensation and significantly more than the non-equity incentive plan compensation of other Coca-Cola executives.
But Gould countered detractors that Mr. Cummings has all relevant documents to prove that he had lived in Liberia for more ten years.
“How will a Grebo man be an American? First, they said Mr. Cummings was strange to the Liberian politics, now they are developing another falsehood that he has not lived in Liberia for ten year and also they doubt his Liberian nationality. This is total nonsense,” he said. The ANC chairman pointed out that anyone who thinks Cummings is backing off the race, is living in dreamland.
Trashing the issue of his standard bearer being hooked by the Code of Conduct, Gould argued that Cummings’ appointment to the board of directors of the Booker Washington Institute in Kakata, Margibi County was service rendered to that institution, which needed financial aid, recounting that Cummings personally purchased 350 KVA generator for the BWI. He noted that despite his appointment by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Cummings was not on payroll nor was he compensated neither by the government nor the BWI. He says instead, the ANC leader provided financial help to BWI and Liberians should be appreciative of his services.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Othello Garblah