MONROVIA – Alexander Benedict Cummings, the presidential candidate of the Collaboration Political Parties (CPP), has outlined a set of conditions for the two presidential candidates heading to a runoff election, emphasizing the establishment of a war and economic crimes court as a key requirement for the CPP’s support.
In a national address on Wednesday, Cummings revealed the formation of a committee led by the CPP’s vice standard bearer, Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine, which will engage with the two runoff candidates in the coming days.
On Tuesday, the National Elections Commission (NEC) released the final results of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections, indicating that no candidate secured the necessary 50 percent plus one vote to declare victory. Consequently, the top two candidates, incumbent George Manneh Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the Unity Party (UP), advanced to the November 14 runoff.
President Weah received a marginal higher votes with 43.83% of the total valid votes, while former Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party came in second with 43.44%.
Since then, both candidates have embarked on intensive negotiations to secure support from other contenders. On Tuesday, President Weah and Ambassador Boakai separately reached out to Mr. Cummings to seek his endorsement.
However, Cummings, in a statement on Thursday, laid out several conditions that the CPP insists must be met to gain their endorsement for a candidate in the runoff. Regarding the establishment of a war and economic crimes court, he stressed the need to “end the culture of impunity in our country, and seriously seek to reconcile and unite our people under the rule of law.”
The issue of the court has long been a contentious topic in Liberian politics. It was recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) over a decade ago, but successive administrations, including the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government and the current Weah-led administration, have failed to implement this recommendation.
During the campaign, two presidential candidates, Mr. Cummings and Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, made promises to establish the court if elected. Cllr. Gongloe and his party, the Liberian People Party (LPP), have already endorsed Boakai, and they have also made the establishment of the court a precondition for their support.
In addition to the court, the CPP is calling for the passage of a law that mandates a minimum 30% representation of women in the Legislature. They are also pushing for the establishment of a national youth service program to enhance social cohesion, empowerment, employability, and civic duty commitment, along with providing preferential loans and business development support programs for Liberian entrepreneurs, particularly women and youth.
The CPP is further seeking a commitment from the candidates to review the Liberian constitution to strengthen democratic governance and foster national unity. Judicial reform is also a key component of the CPP’s conditions. Cummings emphasized the importance of improving access to justice, addressing lengthy litigation based solely on procedural grounds, establishing a claims court, and enhancing the independence of the judiciary and investigatory agencies.
The CPP is calling for a commitment to decentralize public administration to ensure basic service delivery across the country, emphasizing the need for continuous audits and implementing recommendations across government ministries, agencies, and public institutions. They also stress the importance of enforcing asset declaration and auditing the legislature.
Additionally, the CPP is advocating for simplifying the tax code and business establishment regulations to promote a business-friendly environment that accommodates Liberian entrepreneurship.
The party is also urging a commitment to electoral reform to prevent electoral fraud, promoting religious tolerance for a more inclusive Liberia, and addressing the critical issue of drug peddling and trafficking, which Cummings identified as a significant threat to Liberia’s future.
Committed to proposed forensic audit
The CPP’s decision aligns with Mr. Cummings and two other presidential candidates’ request for the NEC to conduct a forensic audit of the ballot papers to verify the accuracy of the election results announced by the electoral body. Cummings emphasized that this investigation is crucial to uphold the integrity of the elections and protect Liberia’s cherished democracy.
He said the move is a part of his promised investigation to understand and expose what actually happened on October 10.
Source: Frontpage Africa