The New Dawn (Monrovia)

21 November 2012

Liberia: Ellen Admits 'Small Family Fuss'

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is expected to meet with members of the House of Representatives today to trash out differences between the lower House and the Executive.

Venue for today's meeting remains unclear, but relations between the two branches of government turned soar recently after the President branded the lawmakers as self-seeking. Members of the House of Representatives took offense and have demanded the President to retract the statement.

But during a joint press conference Tuesday with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Liberian leader described the fuel between the Legislature and the Executive as "small family fuss." She said both branches of government are one family, pushing for the same goal of development for Liberia.

When questioned by journalists to state clearly what was obtaining, she said"It's just a small family fuss; to me the legislature and I know that we have a common objective, working together for the good of the Liberian people; sometimes we differ on issues, but right now, I think we all are very much committed in making sure that harmony, collaboration and interaction [exist] in the interest of our country."

The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is currently visiting Liberia to assess work of the African Governance Initiative (AGI) here. The AGI is working in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and South Sudan, respectively with new countries on the horizon.

The programs are at two levels: the political leadership level, where Mr. Blair draws on his years as Prime Minister. The AGI team is based permanently here, working shoulder-to-shoulder with their Liberian counterparts to put in place the 'nuts and bolts' needed to get things done.

Its practical support helps leaders to bridge the gap between their visions for a better future and their government's ability to achieve those dreams. They accomplish this by strengthening the government's capacity to deliver programs that change ordinary people's lives for the better, from public service, rural development to infrastructure and job creation.

Mr. Blair has however identified infrastructural development one of Liberia's challenges, noting "The government is doing well to bring the country back to where it was."

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