Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh is mute about his reported bid for the Presidency. Minister Konneh, who had gone to the Capitol Building on Thursday to meet with senators on his recent statement made in the United States, told reporters he has not mentioned to anyone whether he will contest in 2017 or not.
When asked about speculations in Monrovia that he intends to contest for the Presidency, the finance boss responded: “I’ve not told anyone.” he said.
Previous news reports had revealed that the opposition Liberty Party and Minister Konneh of the ruling Unity Party were in talks to put forth a single ticket for the impending 2017 Presidential Elections.
A local talk show host indicated that Liberty Party’s political leader Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and Mr. Konneh were in discussions to bring him (Konneh) onboard as running mate for the 2017 Presidential and General Elections.
But in a moderate tune yesterday, Konneh could neither deny nor confirm the speculations, maintaining that he has not told anyone.
Members of the Liberian Senate had summoned Minister Konneh to provide clarity on his address in April in the U.S. The meeting was held behind closed doors, but this paper gathered that the Minister smartly denied media reports attributed to him, terming them as misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the facts.
According to the Minister, he only told his audience in the U.S. that if financial experts at his ministry had not handled the economic situation of the country properly during the Ebola Virus outbreak, Liberia could have witnessed another uprising like the 1980 April 12 military coup against the late President William R. Tolbert, Jr.
The local media had reported that Minister Konneh warned of another April 14th Rice Riot if the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf did not change course in the way it expends State revenues.
Minister Konneh disclosed that since the inception of the Ellen regime, the government has generated US$3.1 billion in revenue but regrettably, 60% of those funds were spent on administrative operations, which represents just 40,000 (public servants) of the country’s four millions population.
“This has to stop”, he warned and stressed that if revenue generated is not equitably expanded across the population, he foresees another April 14th Rice Riot-style incident here. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor