Liberia: Cummings Offers to Donate Presidential Salary, If Elected
The Standard Bearer and Presidential candidate of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) political party in the West African nation of Liberia says, if elected as President, he will donate his salary to improve the condition of his people.
Mr. Alexander B. Cummings Jr. made the statement on Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at a program organized by the ANC-USA chapter.
Cummings who was introduced by his Vice Standard Bearer Ambassador Jeremiah C. Sulunteh engaged party members and supporters at a town-hall style event said he was disheartened by the economic conditions of his people, adding, “I don’t need the salary.”
Cummings told supporters and friends that, if elected, he will prioritize major economic areas to drive wealth creation. He reiterated his commitment to vigorously fight the scourge of corruption through strengthening of laws, prosecution, jail time and seizure of assets for those convicted.
Cummings is a former Chief Executive Officer (CAO0 of the world largest beverage company Coca Cola which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia USA. He and his wife Theresa are also founders of the Cummings Africa Foundation (CAF) based in Liberia. The Foundation has undertaken several initiatives in Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) and education sectors in Liberia
The Liberian political figure addressed a variety of topics including dual citizenship for which he expressed his support. He cited examples of Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Kenya and South African whose citizens enjoy dual nationalities and the benefits their individual countries enjoy from remittances and professional expertise. He expressed support for abrogation of laws which limit Liberians from enjoying dual nationalities.
Currently, a group of Liberians through their legal counsels in and out of the country have petitioned the country’s Supreme Court for recognition of dual citizenship.
Section 22.1 of Liberia’s 1974 revised Liberia’s Alien and National Law as written details acts by which Liberians may lose citizenship:
“…a) Obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application, upon the application of a duly authorized agent, or through the naturalization of a parent having legal custody of such person; provided that citizenship shall not be lost by any person under this section as the result of the naturalization of a parent or parents while such person under the age of 2l years, unless such person shall fail to enter Liberia to establish a permanent residence prior to his twenty-third birthday; or
(b) Taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof; or
(c) Exercising a free choice to enter or serve in the armed forces of a foreign state, unless, prior to such entry or service, such entry or service is specifically authorized by the President;
(d) Voting in a political election in a foreign state or voting in an election or plebiscite to determine the sovereignty of a foreign state over foreign territory; or
(e) Making a formal renunciation of Liberian nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of Liberia in a foreign state in such form may be prescribed by the Secretary of State…”
Petitioners to the Liberian Supreme Court argued that this section of the country’s Aliens and National Law is at variance with due process afforded in the Constitution and therefore unconstitutional. A ruling in the matter is expected at end of June.
The ANC leader disclosed that he has visited all electoral districts and met Liberians who are anxious for change in the direction of the country.
After nearly 170 years of independence, Cummings said, “it was unacceptable to continue along the same path and expect a different outcome.” He challenged opponents to put up their record of achievement against his.
Meantime, representatives of one of Liberia’s newest political organization, the New Liberia Party (NLP) who also attended the program in Philadelphia have endorsed the candidature of Mr. Cummings. To applause, Mr. Sam Mohammed Kromah, Chairman of the NLP said he was pleased to offer his party’s endorsement based on the vision and programs that Cummings and the ANC are pursuing.
Cummings and his Vice Standard Bearer Ambassador Jeremiah C. Sulunteh are currently visiting with party members and supporters in the United States.
Liberians go to the polls in October to elect a new slate of national and legislative leaders following the 2-term expiration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Reporting by Emmanuel Abalo