Liberia: Political Leader Prepares Ground for Mid-Term Senatorial Election

Harper — Liberian politics is known for the old order where many politicians troop to the political limelight during presidential and legislative elections but vanish from the scene after the electoral process.

These politicians make big promises to the Liberian people during political campaigns but over the years following elections, they go back to their normal life, forgetting to keep a close contact with the electorates.

Liberians now know these politicians and they sometimes referred to as election time "Saviours' who sit idly and watch the Liberian people struggle under any elected government once their ambition to get elected is not realized.

This has been the common practice for many years and some politicians in a feeble defenses of their action normally claim that they do not have the state resources at their disposal like the regime in power and do not have the financial and other resources to engage in projects like they would have done if elected to State power.

On the other hand, Liberian also see the abandonment by these politicians after election as an indication that these politicians are only interested in getting to state power rather than having the interest of the Liberian people at heart.

The situation has even led to widespread belief that many of these politicians borrow money during campaigns and therefore after becoming unsuccessful have to return to work and repay loans which prevent them to continuing to interact with the Liberian people.

Until electioneering period are drawing closer, it is rare to find a Liberian politician engaging in nationwide tour or having close contact with the Liberian people because it is known that wherever politicians go, the demand for handouts by the people and request for projects and forms of support are high that politicians do not venture into such tour or visitation to their people.

Political game changer?

But one politician is working overtime to change the dynamics by keeping a close contact with the Liberian people even after failing to win the 2017 presidential election.

Alexander Cummings who contested the 2017 presidential election on the ticket of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) which saw a new politician and a new political party making a debut on the political scene, is looking to be the game-changer in Liberian politics by doing what many politicians have not been doing over the years.

After his defeat during the 2017 elections, Cummings has been fulfilling many of his campaign promises including cash donations to several institutions including the Nimba County Community College, and implementation of small empowerment schemes for organizations and groupings across the country.

His contributions to educational institutions remain one of the enviable contributions of Cummings to the country while at the same time providing assistance to individuals at different levels.

Cummings continues to be very visible in Liberia and his visitations cut across the grass root levels in the counties.

To add up to these institutional and individual support programs Cummings continues to provide Liberians, he has taken several counties by storm with his nationwide tour which is currently taking him to the Southeastern region of Liberia beginning with his native Maryland County.

Thank you visit

On Wednesday began his nationwide tour which took him to the county's three political districts.

Speaking to citizens, Cummings said the tour is intended to make further acquaintance with citizens.

"Since the election in 2017 I visited you people to say thank you for voting for the ANC during the 2017 election. This time around I am here to make further acquaintance with you people," Cummings said.

Cummings also said his visit to Maryland was also intended to plead with citizens of the county to vote for any candidate the ANC will support in the 2020 senatorial election following its primary.

"We will be having our party's primary to select a candidate. Anyone who wins will be our party's choice. And I am calling on all of our supporters to vote the ANC candidate," Cummings added.

Cummings said voting an ANC candidate in the 2020 senatorial election would show the ANC's preparedness ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

Residents of Maryland hail Cummings

In Cavalla, citizens appreciated Cummings for visiting them frequently and regretted not voting him in 2017.

Martha Dweh, a resident of Cavalla, said Cummings has demonstrated a sense of nationalism since he lost the election by identifying with citizens, contributing to hospitals across the country and helping to sponsor students at various Universities and Community Colleges in the country.

Jerrylyn Gibson, a resident of Rock Town admonished Cummings not to abandon his ambition for the presidency.

With the pace at which Cummings continues to keep in contact with the Liberian people, many political observers believe it is a good sign that he was not one of the many politicians who only show up during electioneering periods.

Besides his constant visitations, Cummings has not been mute on national issues as he continues to speak against ills taking place under the President George Weah-led Government.

His political party, the ANC is also very robust to making public comments about national issues be it political, economic, human rights, amongst others.

During the 2017 presidential election, many Liberians argued that Cummings was very new to the political landscape of Liberia and it was soon to entrust with him with the Presidency, although it was believed that he was one of the best amongst the many candidates.

Some say remaining on the ground and staying in constant touch with the Liberian people is a good political game plan for Cummings which could yield dividend in 2023.

To make his presence more frequent, a member of the Cummings Team currently in Maryland County says the ANC political leader will visit each of the southeastern counties at time intervals to afford him more time and opportunity to interact with the people.

Accordingly, following his visit to Maryland, Cummings to return to Ganta, Nimba County and plan another visit to the next southeastern county another time.

With four of the largest opposition political parties-Unity Party, Liberty Party, ANC and All Liberian Party (ALP) forming a collaboration, the constant contact by Cummings with the people could boost his chances of representing the fours political parties should the collaboration be successful in 2023.

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