Wisner endorses Cummings for 2023
By Lewis S. Teh
The former executive director of the National Investment Commission (NIC) and a stalwart of the opposition Unity Party, George G. Wisner, has pledged to canvass for the Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, ahead of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
“You all know me for my stand on national politics. I remain a member of the Unity Party but given the current precarious state of the economy, the deterioration of Liberia’s international image, and poor governance at this moment, the best person that can bring about renewal and rescue the country from this dilemma is the CPP, through its standard bearer, Alexander B Cummings”, Mr. Wisner declared.
He made the pronouncement on Saturday, September 24, 2022, while addressing the Kukatornon Intellectual and Development Forum in Duala, Bushrod Island.
A strategist and former national campaign coordinator for the UP in 2011, Mr. Wisner explained that his support for Mr. Cummings is based on the ANC leader’s history of effective leadership, values, discipline, honesty, and commitment to purpose, including his vision to economically transform Liberia.
According to him, he was one of the earliest vision bearers of the CPP back in 2018 when the idea of a united opposition was conceived.
“The reason I and other colleagues encouraged our political leaders then to form the CPP was to first establish a stronger opposition voice to the CDC and also create the democratic space within the opposition for constructive debate and the exchange of ideas, leading to the identification of a core team of leadership at all levels to move the country forward.”
Mr. Wisner: “The first 100 days of the CDC rule signaled that the country was headed for disaster.”
He maintained Mr. Alexander B. Cummings has been the only leader amongst the then four Political Leaders that constituted the CPP, that remains true to the objectives of the CPP which was communicated to the Liberian people and embraced by majority of Liberians as was evidenced by its success in the 2020 special senatorial election.
He said it is unfair to betray the trust reposed in the CPP by the Liberian people, adding that although the CPP had some problems, they did not rise up to the level of warranting the disintegration of the institution.
Mr. Wisner regretted the decision of the leadership of the Unity Party to leave the CPP, but insisted that he remains a member of the Collaboration and will use all of his experience and expertise to achieve its objective to dislodge President Weah democratically and make Mr. Cummings President in 2023.
He blamed those he called selfish leaders of the CPP, who were allegedly penetrated and used by agents of the ruling CDC to divide and weaken the Collaboration, making specific reference to allegation of tempering with the CPP Framework Agreement, something, he terms as lies and deception.
Responding to an inquiry about why he endorsed the CPP and ANC standard bearer, Mr. Wisner responded, “I must say in this public forum, without any regret, that I do not only support the CPP but I support and endorse the candidacy of Mr. Alexander B. Cummings because of where the country is.”
“Don’t get me wrong. My old man, Vice President Joe Boakai is a good man and has served his nation but, now, we need a new vision, and this 2023 election will define Liberia – if we will go forward or continue the retrogression that we are experiencing under President Weah’s government.”
Mr. Wisner said he is proud of achievements made under former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, adding “I don’t intend to leave UP. However, at this moment of mass unemployment, reduced inflow of foreign direct investment, massive suffering, increasing poverty, and rising crime rate, I think it’s time to usher in new and fresh ideas to fix the problems.”
He said this is why he thought leaving the CPP was a sad mistake by the past leadership of the UP and disagree with those who led the exit then and now.
Giving his perspective about the 2023 elections, the UP stalwart noted that the pressing problems Liberia faces today are economical, not political.
“It is about the bread-and-butter issue; it is about job creation and hope for the youth; it is about the growing hardship.”
He believes that to solve the numerous challenges, the country needs an effective leadership that is well-connected and able to command the respect of investors and the international community thus, adding that amongst the current political leaders aspiring for the Presidency, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings has the appropriate pedigree to fix Liberia.
Mr. Wisner was invited to give his perspectives on wide range of national issues, including the state of foreign direct investment flow to the country and to state his position on the current political dispensation as it relates to the upcoming elections.
Recently, former Ambassador Lewis G. Brown endorsed the presidential bid of Mr. Cummings, a former corporate executive.
Mr. Cummings heads the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and the relaunched Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) after two constituent parties pulled out of the once formidable opposition bloc. Editing by Jonathan Browne