The West African nation of Liberia is preparing in two years in 2017 to go to the polls to elect a new President as Africa’s first female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf term expires as she limited to two terms by the country’s constitution.
The 2017 election is two years away but what seems unorthodox to Liberian body politics is the shifting of the 2017 campaign into full mode as line of countless candidates and political parties are joining the fray to bid for President Sirleaf’s replacement. One such potential candidate hoping to occupy Liberia’s Chief Executive residence is Mr. Alexander Cummings, the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Office of Coca Cola, Mr Alexander Cummings..
In his bid to replace President Sirleaf, the Coca Cola Executive himself is shifting into campaign mode and working his Liberian Diaspora communities, appearing to his community functions in the United States where he resides.
Mr Cummings made similar appearance yesterday in the state of Minnesota to address a town hall gathering in Brooklyn Park where he made a stunning revelation that he carries American passport but he is a Liberian.
Mr. Cummings made the shocking revelation yesterday when asked about his citizenship concerning his achievement which many believe could not had been achieved had he not been American citizen.
The Coca Cola executive revelation sparks a strong debate across the Liberian Diaspora communities and ignites strong trends across Liberian social media platforms.
According to trends monitored from across Liberian social media platforms conducted by this entity, proponents of Mr Cummings revelation of his citizenship laud him for his honesty while others are critical of him.
Mr Cummings’ revelation of possessing American citizenship could see his campaign facing a stiff resistance from his opponents, Liberian civic groups or just from ordinary Liberian challenging his eligibility to participate in Liberian politics, let alone contesting for the highest office of Liberia.
The election of laws and constitution of Liberia, like all other countries, only allow Liberian citizens to contest for public office and intriguingly , the country’s immigration law automatically strips Liberians of their citizenship if they obtain citizenship of a second country as in the case of the Coca Cola executive and forbid them from owing property in Liberia too.
It is common secret in Liberia that many in government and the country hold citizenship of a second country but there is no way to verify those individuals’ status but Mr. Cumming’s revelation makes him the first Liberian running for President to publicly declare his citizenship of the United States, a second country and by that revelation, he is not qualify to run for public office because Liberia does not recognize dual citizenship neither would he meet the criteria of owning property in Liberia as one of the main criteria to seek the Presidency because he lost his Liberian citizenship by naturalizing as an American citizen.
For Mr Cummings to be on the ballot in the 2017 elections, he has to go through a rigorous processes of renouncing his American citizenship by going through the American court system and be given certificate of renunciation of his United States citizenship and he would in turn go to the Liberian court system as well and apply for re-declaration of Liberian citizenship while presenting his certificate of renunciation of his American citizenship. The court would in turn determine if Mr Cummings meets the criteria for re-declaration of Liberian citizenship and would issue him certificate of re-declaration of Liberian citizenship which he would then submit to the National Elections Commission of Liberia and when certified, before his name could be put on the ballot.
The processes could take very long time and before the Coca Cola executive exert these stringent requirements, the 2017 election would had been over and the next President replacing President Sirleaf would had long been inaugurated.