Liberia: Preserve the Peace

-Weah urges incoming UP-led administration

Outgoing President George Manneh Weah urges the incoming Unity Party-led administration to adhere to democracy and preserve the nation’s peace, ahead of the historic transfer of power that comes on Monday, January 22, 2024.

The incumbent Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government is expected to hand over power to the UP-led administration following an epic election showdown last year.

President Weah took global stage, when he conceded defeat to President-elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai, setting the stage for a historic transition, which has boosted the democracy of Liberia.

Speaking on Wednesday, 17 January at the dedicatory ceremony of the refurbished Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Monrovia, ahead of Monday’s inaugural ceremony, President Weah hoped that the return of the UP administration at the helm of the Liberian Presidency would preserve the peace that he has kept by conceding defeat and allowing an historic transition.

He said this was more important rather than sticking to power that could have allowed killings and bloodshed, destroying innocent lives.

President Weah reiterates that the decision of the outgoing CDC administration to narrowly accept defeat in the election and proceed with the transfer of power peacefully is in adherence to keeping the peace of Liberia to move the country forward and allow everyone to enjoy.

He expresses excitement that his administration is abiding with protocols, and proceeding with a smooth transition, saying “We are very excited, and pray and hope in our transition, even the government that’s coming back, because they are the same government we took off, should know that the peace of this country is important than anyone of us.”

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The President says the decision that was taken by his administration in allowing a historic concession which saw the CDC not going to court, was not because they did not believe in institutional mandate or the legal system, but was aimed at preserving peace.

He reflects that during his Presidency, his government was not interested in removing members of the opposition from key positions, but rather focusing on employing Liberians, specifically referencing current Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cllr. Deweh E. Gray, who served under former President Ellen Johnson and the Unity Party-led administration, but was retained in his government because of her service to the State.

Mr. Weah describes himself as one of the known celebrities in Liberia, yet he is still being criticized for the work he has done.

He further recalls that when he was Senator for Montserrado County, there was time he wanted to obtain Diplomatic Passports for his wife and children, but was denied by Minister Gray, who then guided him to follow the right procedure in acquiring such passport.

“I hope I get this story right; just to prove who we are and not what they said we are”, the President noted, recalling that he had called Madam Gray to issue passport for his family, as a Senator for Montserrado County, but was told only the President could issue a diplomatic passport when some of his colleagues would had resisted and insisted they be issued a diplomatic passport, but he defaulted only because Madam Gray was doing her job.

Mr. Weah said he did not obtain the Diplomatic Passport until he became President and had the opportunity to replace Madam Gray as Deputy Minister but didn’t do so just because she had rejected or denied him.

“I did not remove Madam Gray because she was doing her job; we did not come to remove Unity Party partisans but came to employ Liberians, and that is while you see Madam Gray kept still on her job, so we pray that this administration will preserve the peace, he cautions. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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