Liberia’s President George Manneh Weah is urging Liberians to come together to devise and support new measures necessary to address structural defects and imbalances in the economy here, days after thousands of aggrieved citizens took part in what is seen as the country’s most peaceful mass protest on June 7.
“Fellow citizens, let us sit and dialogue on the way forward for economic revival in Liberia. Bring your ideas to the table, and I assure you that they will be given my most careful consideration,” he said Tuesday, 11 June via state broadcaster ELBC.
The Council of Patriots (COP) supported by Liberia’s four collaborating opposition political led the peaceful protest to demand President Weah to publish his assets, address the bad state of the economy, alleged corruption and dismiss and prosecute Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Executive Governor Nathaniel Patray, among others.
They have given the government one month to address a long list of demands which will determine their next course of action.
In his brief nationwide address Tuesday before departing the country for Abuja, Nigeria, President Weah says it will take the collective efforts of all Liberians to achieve the desired objective of reviving the economy and placing the country on a path of sustainable development and transformation.
“We will have to come together to devise and support new measures which are necessary to address the structural defects and imbalances in our economy,” he says.
He states that his government recognizes that the alternative views of all citizens are equally vital in finding a way forward.
In recognition of this, President again invites the leaders of political parties, civil society groups, elders, religious leaders, traditional leaders, student leaders and the business community to a round-table discussion to afford them the opportunity to present their alternative views or their suggestions on the economy.
He however did not state when hopes to have such engagement between the government and the various stakeholders cited.
In celebration of the peaceful nature of the recent protest, President Weah extends thanks to all Liberians for their efforts in strengthening the peace and consolidating the country’s democracy.
He particularly commends the protesters for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they exercised their right on 7 June, and also to those other Liberians who chose to go about their normal business on that day – also in a peaceful and orderly manner.
According to President Weah, both sides demonstrated tolerance and respect for the rights of the other, in keeping with the rule of law.
Further he appreciates the national security apparatus of the country for their professionalism in protecting lives and property and ensuring public safety.
He assures Liberians that under his leadership, the government will continue to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Liberians – irrespective of their political affiliation, tribe and religion.
President Weah recalls that when he assumed the presidency last year, he informed citizens that his regime had inherited a broken economy and pledged to exert every effort to fix the economy and improve the lives and livelihood of the people.
He notes that while the efforts to fix the economy are sustained and ongoing, his government still faces challenging times.
To the international partners, President Weah additionally extends appreciations for their continued support in assisting the Government and People of Liberia to consolidate the democratic gains that the country has made over the years.
He also appreciates the local and international media for their coverage in keeping with their professional responsibilities. By Winston W. Parley