Liberia: The Cummings-Brumskine Ticket: Could It Be the Last Straw to Undo Weah’s CDC?

  • A Patriot’s Diary With Ekena Nyankun Juahgbe-Droh Wesley

The last time Liberians went to polls to decide their political future was in 2017. There and then, they ended a 12-year reign by the United Party (UP) former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf breathed political life into following the demise of its founder, the late Dr. Edward Beyan Kesselly. The now governing CDC woke up from its opposition slumber and democratically seized power following a second round in which the Unity Party led by Joseph Nyuma Baokai lost. Ambassador Baokai graciously accepted defeat – something not easily heard of in our part of the world.

Liberian Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attends the second day of the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau on June 8, 2015 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Amid the litmus test for a group of political neophytes on the governance stage, hope for the dawn of a new day for the masses became decimated. The masses had ennobled a populist leader and former soccer legend – in whom their hopes for a better future seem anchored. A slogan – borne out of ‘Change for Hope’ died on arrival. Whatever that meant – elections were over and the trust of the people had become betrayed to say the least. Such is the trappings of a peaceful ballot process versus the a violent bullet.

Ekena Nyankun Juahgbe-Droh WesleyA slogan – borne out of ‘Change for Hope’ died on arrival

Former Cola Cola Executive, Alexander B. Cummings’ Alternative National Congress was among scores of political parties that put itself forward at the electioneering stage in 2017. Many had termed Cummings then as perhaps a better choice as very little was known about him. Such is the coloration of choices voters make from time to time at the ballot box. In spite of his newness, Cummings ANC ranked fourth.

Unlike the CDC and UP; that would most often than not hinge the support bases around certain geographical locations, Cummings ANC theoretically thinks otherwise. ANC’s strategists reckon that their party’s forerunner is running to be President for all of Liberia and cannot be restricted to a specific geography in a country that has become polarized by section, creed and ethnicity.

While the CDC is hinging its reelection on the continuation of major infrastructure projects conceived of and initiated by the former ruling Unity Party, the democratically deposed governors are wrestling along the propaganda fringes with the incumbent to own their landmark hard work that has seemingly become the CDC’s latest political bargaining chip.

Liberia’s Current President, George M. Weah

The CDC is hinging its reelection on the continuation of major infrastructure projects conceived of and initiated by the former ruling Unity Party,

Cummings’ ANC cum CPP has been embroiled in a furore of political brouhaha following the breakup of the CPP on the watch of UP’s Joe Baokai, thus culminating into an unprecedented disintegration of deceased Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine’s Liberty Party (LP). Darius Dillon and Nyongblee Kangaroo-Lawrence-inspired ‘Saul-to-Paul’ turned out to be their Achilles Heel in a political battle of the Titans in which the Supreme Court dealt the pair a deadly blow at the behest of Musa Hassan Bility

The opposition seems to me missing the point when they should be fighting a united battle in a war they could lose when they don’t get their act together by burying their hatchet.

The CPP’s last straw to break the back of a united opposition arose when the Collaborating Political Parties dismally failed to present a single candidate in the senatorial race in Nimba County that brought Jeremiah Koung of Prince Johnson’s MDR to the senate. Koung defeated former Nimba Superintendent, Edith Gongloe-Weh after Taa Wongbe – who formerly associated with the Cummings’ camp prematurely went independent and became a spoiler.

Senator Jeremiah Koung (Nimba) and Senator Prince Johnson (Nimba) of The Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR). Senator Jeremiah Koung (Nimba) has become the Vice Presidential Candidate of Joseph N. Boakai (Unity Party)

When Liberians sought to press the running mate factor amid the Unity Party and ANC – the search engine went wild for all the politically charged or for a better phrase hastily confused reason. Thus the open political scramble for running mate became the hue and cry of competing political interests and supporters. With the dice in the wake of running mate saga finally cast for the so-called three main contenders in the October 2023 general and presidential elections in the small West African nation, – the Alex Cummings-Charlyne Brumskine ticket is apparently the latest on the political axis. Early reactions seem mixed just as Baokai-Koung drew and avalanche of pros and cons vis-a-vis the antics associated with Senator Prince Johnson factor, which UP stalwarts have dismissed outrightly.

Alexander B. Cummings (Fixer 1) and Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine (Fixer 2)

Both CDC and UP argue that Cummings’ ANC-CPP does not have the numbers. Unscientific opinion polls conducted across various lenses in the Liberian political equation placed ANC-CPP in a thrilling position. Lest we forget, the little-known Alex Cummings came fourth in 2017.

On what Charlyne Brumskine brings to the ticket, let the word go forth that both Nyongble Karngar-Lawrence and Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine’s rise to fame is rooted in ancestral blessings. They both are descendants of forebears of the Bassa Resilience Council legacy. The parochially moot debate about Cllr. Charlyne Brumskine’s inability to communicate in the local tongue is essentially counterproductive to the concept of one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all as well as the letter and spirit of the TRC – urging reconciliation devoid of tribe or segment.

Senator Nyongble Karngar-Lawrence of Grand Bassa County

The political footstool of Karngar-Brumskine is arguably entrenched in their parents’ historical roles in maintaining cohesiveness along the frontiers of the Grand Bassa Cove. Through the Bassa Resilience Council, they ethnically worked to preserve the Bassa-ness of their people. Minus their parents, they would have no political bearing on the fringes of Bassa politics and leadership as it were.

Map of Liberia indicating the Counties in Liberia

While the perception about Cummings’ so-called non-existent numbers has become the latest twist of a card on the table of Liberia’s ongoing political landscape, the opposition seems to me missing the point when they should be fighting a united battle in a war they could lose when they don’t get their act together by burying their hatchet.

With the looming chapter of a running mate debate quietly brought to a close, the ball is in the court of the United Party cu Alternative National Congress against the so-called mighty Coalition for Democratic Change – come October 10, 2023. Elections are won based on strategies culled out of war rooms not the mere propaganda, which ostensibly complements the politics of the day. Whether Cummings-Brumskine has the numbers of not; what would genuinely matter – would be the popular will of the people to decide their political future. Whoever wins shall amount to the dictates of democracy.