…..President Sirleaf Ahead Of Pending National Elections – By: Augustine N. Myers – Former world best Footballer, and now a leading political opposition leader in Liberia, George Manneh Weah has held talks with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at her office in the capital, Monrovia ahead of the general and presidential elections in October this year.
Mr. Weah is the Political leader of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), the political party that has the highest seats at the National Legislature. The CDC won the first round of the 2005 elections and came second to the Unity Party of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in the 2005-run off Presidential election, which was the 2nd round
During the talks, President Sirleaf and Mr. Weah reviewed a number of national issues crucial to the holding of free, fair and transparent elections in the Country.
Welcoming Mr. Weah which observers describe as an opportunity for both political leaders to officially meet for the first time since the 2005 elections to discuss issues of national concern, the Liberian leader called it an important time in the nation’s history, not only for the unfolding events in the country but also the unfolding events in the region.
According to her, it behooves them as leaders and as good citizens of Liberia to meet and consult all the time, and exchange views in order to agree on common strategies and approaches to make sure that Liberia and neighboring Countries continue to move forward and to make progress in development that would enable all citizens to integrate their economies to attract much more investment.
The Chief Executive said it is important for all political leaders to work together to ensure that the 2011 general and presidential elections are not only free and transparent but peaceful, and one in which all parties accept the results.
The process, according to the President, must be exercised in a spirit of collaboration and respect for one another.
Responding, Mr. Weah welcomed the opportunity to discuss with the President on national issues. He said despite being in opposition, it was important that Liberia remains at peace.
He pointed out that this was the message he will always give to the Liberian people, assuring the Liberian President of championing peace.
According to him, being in opposition does not mean adversary, noting that it was important for all politicians to spread the message to properly guide their followers.
The Liberian leader and Mr. Weah discussed a range of topics, including job creation, corruption in society, infrastructural development, youth empowerment, and the upcoming voter registration exercise. They agreed that more publicity would be needed to ensure that more eligible voters are registered.
President Johnson Sirleaf and the CDC leader voiced concerns about the situation in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire, and agreed that Liberia would be affected if it deteriorated further. The President welcomed an announcement by Mr. Weah that he would be willing to help mediate in the crisis, and invited him to an upcoming meeting of the Mano River Union scheduled to be held in Liberia.
Thursday’s meeting was one of several the President has held with stakeholders, including political leaders in the country. She recently held talks with Mr. T. Q. Harris, a Presidential aspirant.