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I can’t be Cummings’ VP

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-Joe Boakai on CPP presidential slot

Liberia’s former Vice President Joseph NyumahBoakai says if he is not chosen by the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) as presidential candidate, he will not stand as vice presidential candidate to former Coca – Cola executive Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, warning that CPP would be taking chances to pick anyone other than him.

“Of course not,” Mr. Boakai said on a live talk show Wednesday morning, 26 May when his host on Sky FM asked if he could be a vice president to Mr. Cummings.

Boakai indicated that if he does not get the CPP’s presidential ticket for the 2023 general and presidential elections, the CPP should rather find someone else to run as vice president because he would not accept such a slot.

He argued that being known by a few people in Monrovia to call and talk on radio stations cannot solve the problems of this country, adding “We’re not going to take chances here anymore.”

Mr. Boakai insisted that he thinks very much that taking someone else in the CPP other than him for the presidential ticket amounts to taking chances, lamenting that Liberia is far behind and Liberians in rural places deserve the best.

“Do you know the people of Liberia? So you just think that you just get up in Monrovia here because few people know you, T- Max, just can call you, talk on the radio that you can solve the problems of this country? We’re not going to take chances here anymore,” Boakai noted.

“I think so very much because of the experience, because of what Joseph NyumahBoakai brings to the table, I’m sure the people know within the CPP, they know who is to lead the CPP. We shouldn’t delay ourselves, we should take that decision to be able to bring Mr. Weah down,” Mr. Boakai added.

Boakai’s comments came in the wake of mounting pressure within the CPP regarding who heads the party’s ticket for the 2023 elections.

CPP is comprised of four opposition political parties including Boakai’s Unity Party (UP) on whose ticket he and former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf won two successive six years terms that ended when President George MannehWeah’s Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) took office in January 2018 after the 2017 presidential elections.

Within CPP are also Cummings’ Alternative National Congress (ANC), Senator NyonbleeKarnga Lawrence’s Liberty Party (LP) and businessman – turned politician Benonie Urey’s All Liberian Party (ALP).

Among CPP’s four political leaders, both Boakai and Cummings seem to be the main forces restlessly battling for the CPP presidential slot ahead of the party’s final decision on who it carries.

And it seems so because supporters from both the UP and ANC have separately been speaking out so much trying to present their various parties’ leaders as the best options to unseat Mr. Weah after just one six years term in office.

Though Boakai said he won’t take a slot for the vice presidency this time around, he however, commits himself to abiding by all that is in the CPP framework in a subsequent response to a follow-up question if he would support the CPP’s presidential ticket in case he is not chosen.

“Of course sure, if we go along with all what I have just listed; I didn’t list these things, they are in our framework document. If the VPS [Voter Perception Survey] is telling you this is the way to go, this is the way we believe in, it’s one of those things that we agreed to, you better listen,” he noted.

“Either the consensus or the VPS telling us this is the person we believe in; this is the person that will take down Mr. Weah. And if you go through the primaries … and you don’t listen, then of course … it’s a violation [of] one of the things that we agree to and then we can make the decision,” Boakai said.

He stated that they in the CPP have to adhere to everything within their framework document and pay keen attention to it, noting that “we said the way we were coming up with the single slate is by consensus; if the consensus doesn’t work, we do the VPS.”

Boakai continued that the VPS will not determine who heads the ticket, but it will advise. “That means that the VPS is going to tell the Liberians within the CPP this is the person that we believe you should support and you should listen to us because we are the ones who are going to vote,” Mr. Boakai said.

The former Vice President explained that he went into the CPP with an intention to make sure that the CPP comes up with a single slate that will restore the hope of the Liberian people and not betray their trust.

Boakai insisted, he is hopeful that the CPP does not crack, saying there will be hidden hands playing but the CPP is capable of making sure that it works.

Boakai dispels rumors that he is not healthy to lead the country, saying “I am as strong as I can be; I am on the move every day, those people who claim that they are healthy … they are the ones to ask, not Joe Boakai, Joe Boakai is on the move.”

By Winston W. Parley -Editing by Othello B. Garblah

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