8 August 2017

Liberia: Youth Advocates Prefer Cummings to Weah

Amidst the ongoing campaign process across the country, individuals representing youth advocacy groups say they prefer Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) to George Weah of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

Speaking to this paper over the weekend in Monrovia, representatives of two advocacy groups said they believe that Alexander Cummings is best suited to chair the affairs of the country.

According to them, unlike Cummings, the CDC political leader has served in the same government people complained of being corrupt and has imposed suffering on the citizenry by failing to speak to the ills in society.

They indicated that Senator Weah served in President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson's administration as Peace Ambassador. Joseph Testimony Barclay, the Youth Against Elections Violence co-chair for operations cautioned the CDC standard-bearer that relying on his vice running mate wouldn't help him.

Barclay said Weah is not capable of efficiently administering the day to day affairs of the country when elected as President of Liberia in October. He mentioned that with Cummings, there will be no fear of conducting an audit or prosecuting people who have allegedly corrupt the country, adding that "with Weah, there could be an audit, but the question is who he is going to audit because he too is part of a failed government."

One of the youth advocates said he feared that Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor will overshadow Weah since he is not too strong and seasoned in governance.

Samuel Brown, who claimed to be a student activist at the University of Liberia, said though Weah has the numerical strength, but regarding good governance since his ascendancy at the level of the senate he lacks the capability to respond to the different issues facing the country; noting that going into the House of Senate is different from becoming a President.

"Weah has perpetually failing to speak to ills in society does not mean when elected as President he will fail to do his job, but I'm saying whether he will be effective," Brown wondered.

He said Cummings is not a bad candidate and he does not have any trace of record of corruption.

"This is a poor Liberian who went to the United States and rose to the level of becoming the second vice chair on the Coca-Cola Board and he excellently performed," he said.

For his part, Jeremiah Kolleh, another student said looking at the results CDC from the 2005 and 2011 elections; Weah have a chance of winning if there is a second round between him and Alexander Cummings.

He affirmed that while it is true Cummings has properties, citizens will prefer Weah because he (Cummings) is new to the process and he is not a numerical factor as compared to other candidates.

Kolleh lamented that Alexander Cummings has spent his entire life delegating his service to foreign nations and turned his back on Liberians.

"Even during the war I cannot remember what Cummings did to restore the lost hope and images of our people," he said.

"Though they have not been able to win election, but CDC has also combined with other parties. Therefore, one can clearly come to the conclusion that CDC is at the edge of becoming victorious in the process. Cummings can make the difference after the 2017 elections," he argued.

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