Mr. Cummings, who was reacting to accusation by his colleagues in the CPP that he(Cummings) “nefariously” altered the Framework Agreement that they filed over a year ago with the NEC to duly register and certificate the CPP, during his tenure as Chair, asserted that, “Then and now, the Framework Document filed at the National Elections Commission offers me no advantage over anyone in the CPP.
Then and now, it offers the ANC no advantage over any other member-party in the CPP. And then and now, the Framework Document contains all of our agreements as amended by our legal advisors and approved by all the parties, and was the same instrument used to register and certificate the CPP as well as enable us to successfully field CPP candidates in various by-elections and the Midterm Elections of 2020. This was true then, is true now, and will be true forever - because it is the simple truth.”
The ANC Political Leader described the accusation as “false and misleading”.
In a statement issued in Monrovia, the ANC flag bearer maintained, “So, this false accusation of nefariously altering the CPP framework document to benefit me in this race for the CPP nomination is an assault on my character only intended to tarnish my hard-earned reputation and try to present me to the Liberian people as being the same as the accusers.”
“This may be politics to them, but it is evil and malicious. They may have succeeded temporarily as no matter what we say today, there are some people who will not believe us, but I promise you, they will fail. Today, I want to confirm and assure you that I, Alexander Benedict Cummings, did not alter the Framework Document as Amended by the lawyers and approved by the Parties.
That is the singular fact, and Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence knows that, Joseph Boakai knows that, Benoni Urey knows that. The Committee’s report in its Observations stated that. In this report, from Page 13 to Page 22, the Committee observed that except for slight structural rearrangements, all provisions including Definitions, Headquarter, Party Membership, Withdrawal Clause, National Executive Committee, Leadership of Advisory Council, Communication, Eligibility, Nomination, Dispute Resolution, Timeframe/Duration are all the SAME in the Copy filed with the NEC as it is in the Amendment Copy from the Lawyers,” the prominent Liberian opposition politician averred in the statement.
He continued, “Yet in its Findings, the Committee contradicted their own observations by only comparing the May 19 Framework Document to the Framework Document filed at the National Elections Commission, without regard for the lawyers’ amendment, knowing that the focus would be on the findings and not the observations.”
He pointed out that this s is why the ANC contested the findings for its inconsistencies with the observations and submitted its dissent to the National Advisory Council.
Mr. Cummings recalled that the NAC meeting on last Wednesday, it was agreed that the Report along with ANC’s objections to the findings would be submitted to the lawyers for verification, stating, “This important validation of the lawyers was a safeguard against an investigation by partisans who were under pressure from their principals who happened to be my accusers. It was also agreed that we would call on our supporters to calm down and fall back until the lawyers had responded to the Report.”
“ We agreed that a statement by the NAC would be issued, informing the public of the outcome of the NAC meeting. After the meeting, as agreed, I called on all of my supporters to stand down. Understandably, all Parties were clamoring on social media with the ANC feeling vindicated by the observations in spite of the inconsistent findings and calling on Mr. Urey to apologize for his accusations, while other partisans believed the findings and became upset about the lawyers being asked to verify.
That night, I was contacted by Sen. Lawrence and the Chairman of Unity Party asking me to call on my people to stand down as they were under pressure to respond. Amb. Boakai also contacted me to tell my supporters to stop asking Benoni Urey to apologize. In good faith, I issued a statement the next day ,again calling on my supporters to stand down.
The same day, Sen Karnga-Lawrence unilaterally hosted a press conference under the auspices of the CPP when she had no authority to do so given the end of her tenure, and worse off, without sharing the release with the ANC for review or input as is consistent with CPP statements. She intentionally and maliciously, with intent to deceive, read selective parts of the contested findings as the basis for claiming that I should take responsibility for alterations of the Framework Document, thus unleashing the public onslaught.”
Mr. Cummings explained that he has been silent to enable the Committee to work and for the lawyers to respond.
“Unfortunately, I can no longer remain silent while my name is being dragged in the mud and my hard-earned reputation tarnished by individuals who feel entitled to state power. The Framework Document signed on Zoom on May 19, 2020 was under the leadership of Mr. Benoni Urey during the heat of the COVID crisis. He turned over to me after the Zoom ceremony with no turnover notes, documents, resolutions or signed copies of the Framework Document.
At no point did all of us sit in one room during the Zoom ceremony and sign one Framework Document signature page. We all signed our individual copies at our respective locations on Zoom on May 19 and kept it with us. There was no one signature page from that signing ceremony with all of our signatures. That is why, upon approval of the lawyers’ amendment, Mo Ali, who was instructed to collect the signatures of all persons on one page, went around to have each PL and Chairman sign.
He submitted the signature page to the ANC for filing. That my colleagues cannot be honest to the public and admit that the signature page they signed was taken to them long after May 19, and that they backdated their signatures, speaks to the level of deceit and the underlining intent,” Mr. Cummings further explained.
“Additionally, all parties submitted their resolutions to the ANC on July 6 & 7 after my message to them on June 25th, reminding them about the need to submit their parties’ resolutions to enable us file the approved Framework Document as Amended by the lawyers.
Today they claim that the resolutions they submitted was for the May 19 Zoom ceremony, yet Sen. Lawrence signed the Liberty Party’s resolution on July 1, 2020. It is also important to note that it is impossible for us to have used the signature page from the original document on the filed copy because the order of the signature page on the document we signed on Zoom is completely different from the order of the signature page filed at NEC. The original document starts with Unity Party signatures while the Filed copy starts with ALP signatures,” he uttered.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cummings, among other things, added in the statement that, “ If I should fail in this political quest because of my honesty and integrity - by the way, I do not believe, we will fail - then I will be consoled that at least I tried to offer our country a different and better way, but did not succeed. But as I try, I do not need to be crooked, wicked, dishonorable or corrupt just to be President. As difficult as it seems today - as even more challenging as the road ahead may be - my faith remains strong; my hope is unwavering; and my belief in the Liberian people remains unfaltering.”