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UP should live by the rule

Cummings insists as he takes over CPP by default

The Political Leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) Alexander B. Cummings says the former ruling Unity Party should live by the rules set within the framework document of the fragile Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).

Answering questions on the ongoing UP vs. CPP case before the National Elections Commission (NEC) on Tuesday during an inclusive interview, Mr. Cummings argues that the case before the electoral body is about the Rule of Law and that the UP should live by those rules.

Two constituent members of the CPP-Liberty Party and the ANC last month wrote the NEC informing it of their resolve to invoke Section 8.5 (2) of the CPP framework document which prescribes the process by which a party can withdraw from the collaboration.

Mr. Cummings explaining the CPP’s position

Section 8.5 (2) of the CPP document states: “Constituent party desiring to withdraw its membership from the Collaboration Political Parties shall (First) exhausts the dispute resolution mechanism stipulated in this framework document. If the constituent party which has satisfied the dispute mechanism is not satisfied with the outcome, it shall file a resolution to withdraw from the CPP signed and duly executed by two-thirds (2/3) of membership of its National Executive Committee. It is understood that a party withdrawing from the alliance prior to the next presidential, legislative and local elections shall not field candidates in its name.”

The LP and the ANC which now comprises the CPP argued that the UP and the All Liberian Party of Benoni Urey did not follow these procedures and therefore, should not field any candidate within the Lofa by-election.

But the UP has continued to counter-argue that it has since announced its withdrawal from the CPP and thus cannot be held by its rules.

However, Mr. Cummings, who now heads the CPP by default insists that there are two articles in the constitutions that are being applied in the current UP-CPP saga -Article 17 which deals with the freedom of association and 25 which forbids the interference in the execution of contracts.

Article 17 among other things grants all persons the freedom to associate or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations, while  Article 25 seeks to guarantee contracts or obligations of contract guaranteed by the Republic and no laws shall be passed which might impair this right.

Mr. Cummings explains that while it is true that the UP could argue the former (Article 17), Article 25 obligates it to the terms and conditions set within the CPP framework document which in other words makes it a binding contract supported by the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.

According to the ANC leader in this particular case, the UP exercised their rights to associate when they associated with the CPP and they also exercised their rights to enter into a contract when they agreed to the CPP framework document.

“So both of those rights are used and they cannot turn around and try to have it both ways,” Cummings went on. “So we have decided that this is not just about the rule of law, this is about keeping to your words. This is about signing a contract and living by the conditions of the contract. And that contract basically said that if you decide to leave the CPP you cannot field a candidate in your party’s name. And this is what is happening and by trying to field a candidate in Lofa they are violating the contract which they agree to within the framework document.” Cummings opines.

He further explained that all the LP and ANC are saying is that everybody should abide by the contract they sign up to.

“This is about being honorable, this is about keeping your integrity and keeping your words. And we just want the NEC to follow its own rules and procedures and hold the UP accountable to the contract that they signed when they agreed to join the CPP,” he added.

On the CPP breakup, Cummings explains that the fallout came as the CPP was drawing near to a convention to elect its standard-bearer for the 2023 presidential election.

He noted that there were certain elements within the CPP that just wanted a coronation of the former vice president instead of having a competitive convention.

“We have operated under this framework agreement that is now being challenged for two years and nobody said anything. We even won six seats under this framework document. But the whole thing started to deteriorate when we started to talk about going to a convention because somebody thought the former Vice President would have just been coronated,” he added.

In a related development, the former vice president failed to appear at the Monrovia City Court on Tuesday, April 19, to testify against Cummings in the ongoing forgery trial.

The Prosecution has requested for 30 more witnesses in to testify against Cummings.-writes Othello B. Garblah (Coming up what next for the CPP?).


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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