LIBERIAN opposition leader Alexander B Cummings has launched a stinging attack on President George Weah after government forces launched an unprovoked attack on peaceful protesters in Monrovia earlier this week, injuring multiple people.
The protesters displayed banners and posters calling for justice and indicating solidarity with Cummings, the leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), who is being prosecuted by the Government of Liberia on discredited, politically motivated charges of ‘forgery and criminal conspiracy.’
In a statement released on Wednesday, Cummings accused the Weah administration of abusing its authority to restrict Liberia’s political space ahead of the 2023 presidential elections.
‘Today, thousands of Liberians took to the streets of Monrovia to exercise their right to peaceful assembly. This right is one of the cornerstones of Liberia’s democracy, bestowed to us through our constitution. These peaceful, lawful protesters have been tear-gassed, wounded, and arrested by police,’ Cummings said.
‘I have stood firm and calm when the government has violated my own democratic rights, through the manipulation of courts and casting false accusations. I cannot remain calm when the democratic rights of my fellow Liberians are violated, and law-abiding citizens are left bleeding on the streets on Liberia.’
Footage and pictures of the protest have been circulating widely on Liberian social media, showing multiple injuries and abuses by police.
Cummings, a former international business executive, called on Weah to govern in line with international democratic standards, or move aside in favor of others who can.
Cummings said, ‘The weak leadership of President Weah has brought the Liberian economy to the brink of collapse; the events at this protest, combined with the bogus charges levelled against me, is further evidence that he is now abusing his position and using every tool, including democratic institutions, at his disposal to cling to power. Enough is enough.’
The ANC leader called on his countrymen to defend the country’s young and hard-won democracy.
He said, ‘Now, I speak to all Liberians – whether my supporters or critics. Liberia cannot continue in this downwards spiral. Our democratic rights are not guaranteed. We – the upholders of democracy – need to protect them. Our chance to choose the government we deserve, and deliver the future we deserve to a future generation of Liberians, comes in 2023. ‘I stand with you. I hear you.’