Weah promises peaceful elections
-as he announces 2nd term bid
By Bridgett Milton & Jonathan Browne
President George Manneh Weah has assured Liberians that they will go through the 2023 elections without resulting in chaos.
Delivering his sixth and final Annual Message to the Legislature for his first six years term Monday, 30 January 2023, Mr. Weah also said very soon, he will be asking his people to renew his presidential term.
Mr. Weah’s appearance before the the Joint Session of the Legislature is in line with Article 58 of the 1986 Constitution.
The constitutional provision requires the President to report on the State of affairs and present a legislative program to the Legislature on the 4th working Monday in January of each year.
Weah and his ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government will be seeking re-election during the October 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
Presidential hopefuls from the opposition will also be battling the incumbent this year.
President Weah used the Annual Message to urge Liberians to commit themselves to a peaceful election by continuing to demonstrate to the international world that they are capable of maintaining the peace.
He suggested that the October elections under the Coalition for Democratic Change-led government is nationally and globally considered a major test to Liberian democracy and maintaining the peace of Liberia.
” I’m of the strongest conviction that Liberians will pass such a test, as I [have] reaffirmed my commitment to protecting the peace and stability of the country,” Mr. Weah said.
At the same time, President Weah lauded the Liberia National Police for the confiscation of arms and ammunition at the Freeport of Monrovia.
He called on local and international partners, security apparatus, and the Ministry of Justice to investigate and bring those involved to book.
He said the situation is a grave concern ahead of the 2023 elections.
He at the same time, President Weah thanked lawmakers for the passage of the Local Government, and the Land Right Acts during their first session.
He added that the Local Government Act has granted local governments the opportunity to cater to their people.
President George Manneh Weah definitively tells Liberians, particularly his supporters that he is seeking re-election in October and will be going across the country to seek their votes, as he delivered his Sixth Annual Message on Monday, January 30, before the Sixth Sitting of the 54th Legislature in joint session.
The Annual Message is in accordance with Article 58 of the Constitution of Liberia, which mandates the President to report on the state of the nation for the year ended, including revenue and expenditure and, present his economic and legislative agenda for the coming year.
President Weah brags that his government has done its part by delivering on most of his promises, describing the economy under his administration as stable.
Mr. Weah is expected to be repetitioned this February by his ruling Coalition for Democratic Change to contest for a second term in office.
But some citizens responding to the State of the Nation Address, immediately after President Weah ended his speech, disagree with the President’s of maintaining a stable economy. One caller said contrary to President’s assertion, the economy is not stable when prices of petroleum and rice keeping rising along with prices of other basic commodities.
NAYMOTE partners for Democratic Development recently disclosed that based on its assessment, President George Weah is yet to implement nearly two-thirds of campaign promises made to the people of Liberia.
Releasing a report covering President Weah’s five years performance on Wednesday, January 18, in Monrovia, NAYMOTE Executive Director, Eddie Jarwolo, explained that out of 292 promises made by the President over the last five years of his administration, only 24 promises, representing 8 percent have been fully implemented, while 91 promises or 31 percent of all promises are ongoing during the reporting period.
“Nearly two-thirds of all promises, 177 promises (61%) were identified as ‘Not started/ not rated’ because the government had not commenced work on their implementation, and there was no available information on the status of those promises”, Mr. Jarwolo further observed.
A female caller also calls on President Weah to address secret killings in the country, believed to be for ritualistic purposes by power-greed politicians, as Liberians go to the polls in October.
However, the President maintains that his government did extremely well in revising the economy by reducing inflation from 30 to 7 percent two years after coming to office, an achievement he brags, is one of the shortest periods in economic history.
He promises that the pending elections would be free, fair and peaceful and urges Liberians, particularly the youth to reject violence and embrace peace.
President Weah, loved by many young people, says this is the time for young people to take up leadership adding, “This is our time.”
He thanks international partners, including the governments of Sweden and the United States for supporting the upcoming elections.
President Weah delivered his first State of the Nation Address to the First Sitting of the 54th Legislature on Monday, January 29, 2018, barely a week after he assumed office, a task that was imposed on him by Article 58 of the Constitution despite having no direct involvement with revenue and expenditure for the period reported, which was under his predecessor Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The government inherited a significant revenue decline from the Sirleaf Administration, as President Weah reported total revenue collected from 2017, which was also elections year at US$489.1 million, a 13 percent decline from 2016, which was US$565.1 million.