President George Weah has told voters in the Bassa town of St. Johns that he is not that greedy to seek a third term.
President Weah who spoke to citizens on Saturday, September 2, during a campaign stopover, in his appeal for a second term mandate comes October 10, stated that he had no plans coming back to ask them for a third term mandate if re-elected because he believes in democratic tenants.
“… I believe in democratic tenants. So, I am not going to ask you for a third term (because) I am not that greedy,” Mr. Weah said, adding “I want to serve my second term so, I can finish my work and when I complete my work, you will decide who you want to bring.”
The current Liberian constitution gives room for Presidents to serve two terms. Mr. Weah is seeking his second and final six-year term in the pending October 10, 2023, Presidential election. His main challengers are former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai of the former ruling Unity Party of Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Coca-Cola Executive Mr. Alexander B. Cummings of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) in addition to 17 other competitors.
With unfolding events in the West African sub-region where Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara and Senegal’s President Macky Sall have already altered their countries’ constitutions to seek third terms, there are fears that President Weah may follow in their footsteps. Hence the significance of his pronouncement over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Mr. Weah says, a second term mandate will enable him to complete ongoing projects and leave a legacy for voters to compare his twelve years of performance with the performances of presidents before him.
“I don’t want a third term, but I want to leave a legacy in my second term,” Mr. Weah said amid cheers and shouts of one-round victory from supporters who trekked from surrounding villages to attend the President’s rally.
Liberia is one of the least developed countries on the African continent and is listed among the 10 poorest countries globally despite its rich natural resources.
At 176, the country lacks basic social services, with recent studies putting the intelligence level of children born in Liberia at 30%.
President Weah addressing the country’s poor infrastructure blamed past leaders for their failures. “I understand how you feel,” speaking to the citizens of St. John who are enduring the difficulty posed by bad road network. “Our country is 176 years old and you can see that those who came before us have left so much to be done,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, citizens in the commercial capital of Grand Bassa County, Buchanan defied torrential rainfall to attend the President’s rally at the county’s fairground.
They stood in the rain from the morning to 8 pm holding their plastic chairs over their heads as they waited for Mr. Weah who arrived late evening hours to address a rally that lasted for two hours.
Overwhelmed by seeing such a huge crowd standing in the heavy downpour of rain, Mr. Weah took a swipe at the opposition community, inviting them to come and witness what was unfolding.
He described his supporters as true members of his party, seeing them standing in the rain to listen to him. “I want to thank you,” he said, adding “I will not let you down.”
Like speaker after speaker in other counties and cities toured already, citizens were vocal in their pledge to support the re-election bid of President Weah.
Speakers at the Buchanan rally included former Defense Minister under disgraced former President Charles Taylor’s regime Daniel Chea and former Information Minister under the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regime Rev. Dr. Larry K. Bropleh who is the CDC’s Campaign Chair for Grand Bassa County.
Other speakers included Chief Edward Garman-Supreme Grand Zor of Grand Bassa County and first-time voters who all pledged their support to President Weah’s re-election bid.
Grand Bassa is the sixth County so far toured by President Weah since the National Elections Commission announced the opening of the campaign on August 5. He has toured Montserrado, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Capemount and Margibi Counties.
His main challengers are yet to complete their tours of Montserrado County as the date of the elections draws near. -Writes Othello B. Garblah