Monrovia - Senator George Manneh Weah (Coalition for Democratic Change, Montserrado) has expressed confidence that he will be elected Liberia’s next President in the upcoming presidential elections.
Addressing a recent news conference in Monrovia, the opposition CDC standard bearer pointed to his work and contributions to Liberia as a key reason why voters will tip him as the ultimate successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Unity Party Government.
George Weah formerly of the Congress for Democratic change, ran in the country past two successive elections, but came up short.
The former football legend ran as standard bearer in 2005, and as a running-mate to Cllr. Winston Tubman in 2011 where the CDC came second in both elections.
He went on to contest the December 2014 special senatorial elections, edging several opponents including President Sirleaf’s son, Robert, and won a landslide victory.
Weah says his margin of victory in the Senatorial elections is a signal of what is to come and a sign of his bolstering confidence.
“I am confident; In 2005 and 2011, I had confidence, and I am confident that in 2017, I will be elected President based on my work and relationship with my people.
I will be elected based on what I have done in the past and current, the sacrifices I made for my country”.
Senator Weah, whose Congress for Democratic Change is in a coalition with Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Party (NPP) and former Speaker Alex Tyler’s Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) acknowledged that several attempts at forming a much wider coalition has faltered but remains hopeful that the UP-led government’s days are numbered.
While expressing some degree of respect for the rest of the presidential playing field, Senator Weah sounded hopeful although leaving the door open for a possible second round mending of fences.
“I have been in politics more than some of the people in the race; but I still need to work hard and I have respect for my opponents because at some point we will need to talk in the interest of the Liberian people.”
Coming from the background of what many believe is the biggest opposition political party in Liberia due to its numerical edges in the past two elections, expectations amongst Senator Weah and his supporters are high.
Critics however point to some weaknesses in the senate characterized by many absences and muteness on burning issues as a cautionary area that the Senator needs to improve. Nevertheless, Senator Weah says he has made in roads.
“I supported lots of bills; you don’t have to always introduce a bill as lawmaker; one of those bills I have supported is the electricity compact bill that has brought power to some areas of Liberia.
Said Senator Weah: “In our work, if you cannot proffer a bill, you can co-sponsor. I am working for my people.
What critics say about me is far from the truth.
I have more projects around the country and if you compare the amount of projects I have carried out and currently carrying out, you will see that I have done a lot more then people who have stayed here longer.”
Senator Weah added: “No man is infallible! God is the only miracle person and like I said I am doing my best representing my people; well, I am helping, I am paying children school fees, rehabilitating homes for poor people and constructing markets for local market women.”
Code of Conduct Regret: Allow Everyone to Contest
Senator Weah has meanwhile expressed his lack of support for the Code of Conduct bill, declaring that he wishes everyone will be given the opportunity to participate in the elections and that there was no code of conduct.
“Whether or not the Code of Conduct is discriminatory, I cannot be the one saying that. We are a country of law and the supreme organic law is the supreme court ruling.
But I wish there was no Code of Conduct and everyone would be allowed in the race so that the Liberian people can decide but again the country is a country of law.
“You cannot want to be a leader of a country and not respect the laws of that country and that is why I resigned as peace ambassador years ago because I knew it would have affected my ambition to run for president.
So everyone who knew this should have respected the law by resigning but again this is a country of law.”