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Editorial: Joe Boakai’s Daunting Task As CPP Chairman

Amidst internal wrangling, Unity Party Standard Bearer Joseph Nyumah Boakai has assumed the chairmanship of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) by declaring the dawn of a new day for the CPP.

Amb. Boakai, highly respected as an elder statesman among his peers, has taken over the CPP at a time the main opposition is in shambles, thus raising doubts over its chances of challenging incumbent George Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in 2023.

When taking charge, Boakai asked  CPP stalwarts to put behind them their differences and forge ahead by bringing their strengths – and frankly weaknesses, too – together in the true spirit of the framework to fulfill the aspiration and hope of the Liberian people.

“We must hold together and build alliances with the different layers of our society in transforming our country for the good of the people and the sub-region. We present ourselves as the alternative to a dispensation that is in free fall.”

By his ascendancy and the need to create oneness, the UP Standard Bearer is now under pressure to bring back to the fore what he referred as the irreversible momentum of the Liberian people garnered on December 8, 2020, at which time Liberians mandated the CPP to stay together, develop a vision that will offer new hope, fresh ideas and freedom from unchecked corruption, induced divisions, unrepentant looting and pillage of our national coffers.

It cannot be overemphasized that the bone of contention has the insistence of the Unity Party that Joe Boakai has been Vice President for 12 years and therefore cannot go back to become number two for another person. For his part, Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) demands that he will only consider heading a ticket. On the other hand, Benoni Urey of the All Liberia Party (ALP) has thrown his support behind JNB.

Liberty Party (LP) now becomes the party that everyone has been courting, which placed it in a very bad position when the institution is still fragile. LP is also the prey of choice and suffering the consequences of being so wanted. Its membership is under constant pressure to take side. Truly as we speak, LP stalwarts on the side of Joe Boakai include the Political Leader Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence and Senator Darius Dillon, currently suspended as Vice Chair for Political Affairs by the National Chairman Musa Hasan Bility and Secretary-General Martin Saye Kollah, who themselves appear to have already favored Cummings heading the ticket.

Therefore, we take heed of the call by the UP Standard Bearer to not only offering himself in addressing unresolved issues and other problems, by admonishing Alex Cummings, Benoni Urey and Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence but also to see the bigger picture, the people they intend to lead, that is Liberians. Moreover, we count on the CPP with a Joe Boakai to ensure at all cost that it will hold itself to the strict adherence to its rules and exhaust its internal processes of conflict resolution in absolute respect for each other.

The framework agreement was more about keeping tab on each other than laying the foundations for a strong opposition. The end result now is that CPP spent two years in an internal struggling and inflicting wounds that will not heal easily rather than build a coherent voice to check the government and provide alternative views to the public.

However, CPP Chairman Boakai must do all within his efforts to salvage the CPP because Liberians appear to still believe that it’s the surest vehicle to wrestle victory from the ruling class come 2023.

The CPP under Joe Boakai should not limit its greatest achievement, which we already know,  to showcasing everything that is wrong with Liberian politics. Instead, the main opposition should provide the oversight that Liberians expect from an enlighten opposition. Liberians have no clue as to what a CPP social program looks like, when or how it will be implemented. Criticizing government is not a political agenda.

Now that Ambassador Boakai has accepted full responsibility without any defense and justification for all the tethering issues of today, the ball is in his court to practically reconcile a broken CPP by speaking to individual leaders on containing their members, driving team work and showing exemplary leadership everyone knows him by.

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