Three collaborating opposition parties, the former ruling Unity Party, Liberty Party and Alternative National Congress have described President George Weah’s recent address on the state of the economy as “bad news”.
“We, members of the Collaborating Parties (UP, LP, and ANC), listened with great anticipation to President Weah’s recent statement on the economy. The news we heard was generally bad,” the parties told a news conference Friday July 20, 2018, days after President Weah addressed the nation.
President Weah on Monday July 16, 2018 informed the nation that the economy was in bad shape. The Liberian Dollar had depreciated against the United States Dollar by 25 percent since he took office in January 2018. The President further explained that this depreciation in the value of the Liberian Dollar has led to an increase in inflation by 4 percent to 21 percent from 21 percent in February, 2018.
He declaimed to trade blame for the country’s economic woes rather choosing to provide some short terms measures as his government finds lasting solution to remedy the country’s economic plights.
But it seems like this did not go down well with the opposition parties and few critics who think that President Weah should have provided some definite solutions and time frames rather than requesting that Liberians to exercise patience.
Reading the collaborating parties’ statement Alexander B. Cummings of the ANC said the current economic situation requires a serious policy response, but instead, the president failed to provide serious detail as to how he plans to structurally reform the nation’s economy.
The parties argue the president offered “short term fixes” and a promise to release a long term development strategy that he (Mr. Weah) said was nearing completion stages.
The parties said given the current economic constraints confronting the nation, where food items which cost LRD100 is now at LD125, while school fees which charge at LRD4000 is now 5000LRD, the President’s long term solutions should have been available by now for public debate but instead it’s still in the making.
However, the parties provided what they said were some thoughts for the president’s consideration as he develop his long term strategy to finding some permanent solutions to the country’s economic situation. –See page 5 for full statement.
By Othello B. Garblah