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Monday, August 2, 2010

Liberia: Weah Accepts Petition to Run For President

The standard-bearer emeritus of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), George Weah, has accepted a petition to run for president in the 2011 presidential elections.
"I will stand before any force; I will stand in the interest of my people and ensures Ellen's administration defeat in 2011," Weah reportedly told a teeming crowd which is said to represent millions of CDC partisans across the country.

The Congress' founder and chief financier said it was not in his spirit to shy from responsibility and that therefore he was prepared to accept the call of his people to provide alternative leadership for Liberia beyond October 2011.

He said he felt confidence that this time around the CDC would take the gavel of state with ease because the issues that hindered the progress of the party back in 2005 have been significantly resolved.

There was no question therefore, he assured his supporters, that the burden of proof of ability to run the affairs of Liberia were now squarely on the shoulders of the Sirleaf administration.

According to him, now that the question of who knows more book was resolved, the issues for elections 2011 have now shifted from academics to debates about state corruption, lack of development initiatives, and the failed promises the Sirleaf administration made to the Liberian electorates back in 2005.

It is not clear whether the CDC standard-bearer would expect voters to translate the failure of the Sirleaf administration to demonstrate proof of leadership into votes for CDC, but Weah appeared confident that the UP would be at the receiving end of the people's doubt and frustration about the slow pace of recovery.

With the people's mandate to run for president in his sleeves, Weah told the petitioners that he was prepared to collaborate with other parties to put up a tough fight.

According to him, the collaboration was not basically to augment the strength of CDC, but that it was a necessary process aimed at reaching out to other Liberians in order to improve democracy in the country.

He refuted any thought of doing business with UP because in his words, "it lacked the principles of integrity", vowing that he would "never mortgage the CDC", neither would he betray the trust of his people.

The CDC strongman was responding to a petition reportedly presented to him in Logan Town on Bushrod Island over the weekend.

"We, the sixteen political sub-divisions of the Republic of Liberia, emanating from diverse ethnic, religious, and multicultural backgrounds, have today gathered here with a unanimous accord to formally request Ambassador George M. Weah to contest the 2011 general and presidential elections, as Presidential aspirant."

These were the exact words of an electronic statement titled, "Petition Statement Petitioning Ambassador George M. Weah to contest the coming 2011 elections on the ticket of the Congress for Democratic Change as, President..." now in the possession of this paper.

There were no names attached to the "petition" but it described the petitioners as "leaders and regulars of impoverished grassroots communities stretching across our urban and rural scenery" that were the victims of the failed policies of the Sirleaf Administration.

Amongst several reasons, the petitioners said they were petitioning Mr. Weah to run for president because they trusted in his ability to restore their human dignity, rebuild the nation's damaged infrastructures, construct more access roads and highways and decongest the capital city, Monrovia by creating jobs and other incentives for the poor to return to their places of original abode.

"Mr. Weah, we believe you can lead us because in you we see passion for national transformation, and sensitivity to feed the hungry. Your message of peace and stability after the controversial 2005 elections is a testament of your commitment to put Liberia first, above any selfish interest," they the petitioners said.

Meanwhile, the petitioners who said they were now satisfied with Weah's academic achievement have set for him 24 'crucial' principles to use as bedrock for his administration's economic and social policies and challenges to prioritize in meeting the immediate needs of the people for 'better Liberia'.

The petitioners said one crucial principle they would like for Mr. Weah to make part of his administration's governing policy was "a lean and cost effective governmental machinery and a reduction in the complex of legal and regulatory processes that shackle and blunt entrepreneurial initiatives".

They said they wanted to see also the blending of cost-effective government machinery with the overhauling of the financial sector, the launch of an effective clean-up campaign against intrinsic corruption paralyzing system, and the strengthening of the General Auditing Commission (GAC).

With what they called a "sharpened attack on poverty" they say, they would like to see a government policy that promotes national unity and stability in order to strengthen commitment to international and regional obligations.

They say as the Weah Administration comes to power, it should beware of the challenges low growth rate, excessive taxation, and high costs of living pose to national peace and progress.

Also to watch out for, the petitioners said, were low agricultural production, the lack of manufacturing industries in the country, the high levels of unemployment and underemployment, and the fragility of the society, amongst others.

"We, the people of Liberia, hereby petition you to contest the 2011 presidential elections as a Conquering candidate, thereby destining you to be the 'Conqueror of 2011'", the nameless, unsigned petition said.

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