Liberia: Pro-Temp Denies President Weah Made Request for 6-month Vacation


Monrovia – Senator Albert Chie, Pro-Temp of the Senate, has denied rumors about President George Weah writing the Legislature requesting a six-month leave to attend to his health. 

Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]

It has not been established where the President intends to travel but the rumors about him wanting to take a break, have been heard in pocket discussions in parts of Monrovia. 

“It’s not true,” Pro-Temp Chie responded to FrontPageAfrica’s inquiry.

Also, some senators, too, claimed that they have not seen or heard about such communication to the Senate.

Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, a strong critic of the George Weah-led administration, also told this newspaper, that he hasn’t seen such communication. However, he said that he will give his approval stamp to such decision if it were to be taken; adding: “The President is allowed to take a genuine leave especially sick leave.”

To other lawmakers, there is nothing wrong with the President of Liberia requesting leave but the timing could be a concern to some especially at a time when the country’s economy is struggling.

Currently, Liberia is holding a National Economic Dialogue, which is a part of ongoing efforts in support of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PADP). It is being held under the theme; “National Economic Revival and Growth: Critical Issues, Challenges, and Way Forward.”

It is organized by the National Economic Dialogue (NED) Secretariat with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and partners.

NED focuses on critical national issues to include, public finance mobilization and management, investment promotion and private sector growth, youth unemployment and skills development as well as peace building and reconciliation, all aims at moving Liberia forward.

It is expected that the dialogue will set up a time-bound roadmap for a nationwide consensus on short and medium-term policy measures, strategies, and programs.

Economic Overview

According to the World Bank, Liberia’s economy expanded by an estimated 1.2 percent in 2018, a significant slowdown from a growth rate of 2.5 percent in 2017. The modest growth was supported by expansion in the mining sector (24.2% year-over-year), in particular, iron ore and gold production, bolstered by the opening of a new mining site by ArcelorMittal and increased investment in the gold sector. However, the non-mining sector, which accounts for about 90 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), contracted by 1.3 percent. Rubber production, a key cash crop, grew by zero percent.

The Bank’s survey further showed that Liberia’s headline inflation reached an all-time high of 28.5 percent by the end of December 2018, fueled by significant depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the US dollar 20.3 percent and monetary expansion.

Following completion of his first year into office, Liberians have been assessing President Weah’s electoral campaign promises of fighting corruption and reducing poverty.  

During the latter part of its first year in office, the new administration finalized and launched the PAPD. This development agenda is guided by four pillars, including empowering Liberians with the tools to gain control of their lives thru more equitable provision of opportunities in education, health, youth development, and social protection; a stable macroeconomic environment enabling private sector-led economic growth, greater competitiveness, and diversification of the economy; a more peaceful, unified society that enables economic transformation and sustainable development and; an inclusive and accountable public sector for shared prosperity and sustainable development.

The President has reiterated his government’s commitment to developing the country with emphasis on the construction of paved roads and other critical infrastructures in Liberia. He emphasized that his paved road agenda is intended not only to connect the capital, Monrovia, but also the rest of the country so that road connectivity reinforces the country’s enormous socioeconomic development.