The leader of opposition political party Alternative National Congress or ANC Alexander Benedict Cummings has denied media reports that the party is in talks with the Coalition for Democratic Change for possible merger, saying there is no political deal with the CDC.
Speaking in Monrovia on Tuesday, 6 December he said while it is true the ANC was holding discussions with all political parties ahead of the 2017 race, but at no time had he met with Senator George MannahWeah for merger or coalition.
Cummings added that while it is great for regular discussion with political actors, but the Alternative National Congress has not reached any conclusion of politically working with neither the CDC nor Weah.
The ANC leader told a news conference that he is still committed to the Ganta Declaration which seeks to have a coalition of political parties, noting that formation of a coalition is a good deal in order to reduce proliferation of political parties.
In July this year, 15 of Liberia’s 22 registered parties met in Ganta, Nimba County, and held preliminary talks on the need to present forge a united front against the ruling Unity Party at the ballot box next year.
Though the collaboration summit did not reach an agreement on who to head such marriage, but it is believed that all political leaders’ attendees have expressed great interest in becoming the choice of the collaboration.
The document titled ‘Ganta Declaration’ brought the political leader of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction, Senator Prince Johnson, All Liberian Party’s businessman turned politician Benoni Urey, Liberty Party’s political leader Cllr. Charles Brumskine, Congress for Democratic Change Senator George Weah and Alternative National Congress leader Alexander Cummings.
But the ANC leader said it is somehow disappointing for some political parties that signed unto the ‘Ganta Declaration’ to have created another coalition, something which he terms as “unfortunate.”
CDC leader Senator George Weah has subsequently gone into marriage with ex-president Charles Taylor’s former ruling National Patriotic Party and criminally indicted ex-speaker Alex Tyler’s Liberia People Democratic Party or PDPL in a new coalition styled Coalition for Democratic Change.
Cummings maintained that he’s committed to the coalition process but at the same time, he will continue to evaluate which political institution to work with for the presidential race.
Meanwhile, the ANC leader has donated US$60,000 to market women in Montserrado, Bomi and Margibi Counties.
Cummings said the money is part of a micro loan scheme intended to empower Liberian market women, who are struggling with their business to grow. According to him, the loan is no way connected to his presidential bid as the scheme will continue even after the 2017 elections.
He urged the women to be productive as the loan is to be circulated among women across the country, warning that failure to pay back the funds would reduce the number of beneficiaries.
He also pointed out that beneficiaries of the program will be trained how to manage the loan and make their respective businesses grow. He noted that the loan is also intended to revamp the already struggling Liberian economy.
Cummings empathized that if women were empowered, the economy will become stronger and better thereby, enabling women to live independently. The loan scheme is being managed by Standard Trust Micro Finance headed by Mr. Steve Kolubah, Cummings disclosed.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne