AFRICA/LIBERIA - "I hope President Weah inspires young people to commit themselves to changing the situation"

Friday, 29 December 2017 elections  

Monrovia (Agenzia Fides) - "Young people wanted a change and that is why they voted Weah, but the hope for a short-term improvement is scarce because the national economy is in pieces", says to Agenzia Fides Sister Barbara Brillant, a religious of American nationality of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, who for many years has been living in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, where yesterday, December 28th, t former football star, George Weah, was declared the winner of the presidential ballot held on December 26th.
Weah led with 61.5 percent to Vice President Joseph Boakai’s 38.5 percent. The first round of the presidential elections was held on October 10th (see Fides 10/10/2017).
Liberia has yet to recover from the bloody civil war that broke out in 1989 and ended in 2003 which claimed over 250,000 deaths, and from the recent Ebola outbreak.
"Unfortunately I do not think the economic situation will improve in a short space of time", says Sister Barbara. "However, young people have placed their hope in Weah. I think there will be difficult times, with difficulties at an economic level, but peace will stand", she adds. In fact, the 2017 elections marked a peaceful transition of power between outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and George Weah, who will take office on January 22nd. In the previous 2005 elections the new President had been beaten by Sirleaf. Weah in recent years has managed to broaden his personal consensus and that of his party, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
"Given his strong global popularity, Weah will be above all a "President ambassador" able to represent Liberia in the world", says Sister Barbara. "What will be important is above all his team of collaborators called to make decisions to give a real change to the Liberian economy". "I hope the new President will motivate and inspire youth to commit themselves to changing the situation", concludes the religious. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 29/12/2017)