The New Dawn (Monrovia)

13 December 2012

Liberia: Chiefs Endorse Weah to Succeed Ellen?

Days after a local daily here quoted President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as saying the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) leader George Weah stands a 90% chance of winning the 2017 presidential elections, the head of the Traditional Council has asked Weah to seek advice from President Sirleaf as a way of preparing him for the Presidency.

"Ambassador Weah, with all your titles .... go to President Sirleaf for those advices that you need, so it can prepare you for good leadership, " the head of the Traditional Council of Liberia, Chief Zanzan Karwo told the CDC leader Wednesday, while making closing remarks at the just ended Vision 2030 conference in Gbarnga, Bong County.

"You need to use the old mat to fix the new mat," Chief Karwo added while reminding Weah to also engage the chiefs for more advice.

The statement coming from Chief Karwo has been viewed as an endorsement of the former soccer star to take state power at the end of President Sirleaf's second term in 2017.

The statement also came weeks after President Sirleaf met with Weah and his party chairman George Solo before appointing him as Peace Ambassador, a role Weah has accepted amid criticisms.

"I greatly accept the appointment as Ambassador for Peace for the country that I love so much," Weah told his audience at the Vision 2030 conference.

The former World best noted that for peace and reconciliation to be successful, all Liberians need to be a part of the process, adding that though he has been criticized by many people, he will not be deterred in performing his task as peace ambassador.

He said those, who want to criticize him, can go ahead and do so, but he will continue to be on the right footing. Weah, who heads the grass-root CDC, said car loaders, wheel barrow boys, motorcyclists, market women and all young people's inputs are needed to make the process successful.

He called for government support to the Peace and Reconciliation Commission for the successful implementation of its program. He did not specify the kind of support needed however. But the presidential aspirant sounded confident, saying, once he's heading the process, his task to promote peace and reconciliation will be a success.

Meanwhile, in her closing remarks, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the vision 2030 is a collective pledge and commitment to carry on development here. She said the responsibility to implement the vision 2030 lies in the hands of the young people of Liberia, adding the young people need to take the lead for growth and development.

The vision 2030 conference began on Monday December 10, 2012 with the President and her key officials in attendance as well as members of opposition political parties, youths, market women and the disable community, among others.

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