23 April 2019

Liberia: 'I Support Liberians' Right to Peacefully Protest'

-Says Cummings

Alexander B. Cummings, political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) over the weekend declared that he is in support of the planned June 7 "peaceful protest."

Mr. Cummings made the statement at program making the 44th edition of Dr. Kofi Annan Intellectual series held at the National Polit-Bureau of Liberia (NPBL), a local intellectual center in Clara Town, Bushrod Island that discusses issues of national concern.

"I support the rights of people to assemble, associate peacefully and responsibly voice out their disagreement, because it is their constitutional right," Mr. Cummings said.

He condemned government for "creating a hostile environment for people, who want to peacefully protest which he said is not acceptable."

On recent development, Cummings also described as unfortunate the recruit of ex-rebel generals to intimidate peaceful Liberians, who are critical of the government.

On the topic, "What are those economic and political policies needed to be put in place by government to sustain growth and citizens peaceful co-existence," he said the solution to revise the country's economic status depends on the seriousness of the government, and functionaries to practice accountability, transparency and promote Liberian-owned businesses.

According to him, if the government fails to give an account of the US$25 million and the L$16 billion, no investors will see Liberia as a serious country to bring in huge amounts of money for investment purposes, "because there would be no assurance of getting back the money invested".

Cummings named corruption, intimidation of the press, the opposition and the constant disrespect of the rule of law as major contributing factors that would scare away investors from the country.

He called on the government to revisit its tax environment; and give easy access for businesspeople to the Free Port of Monrovia to import new goods, "because there is an urgent need for the government to provide credit to Liberia-owned businesses."

Cummings said the government has failed on the growth of the economy, noting that every indicator to stabilize the economy has gone backward in the last two years

He added, "the Liberian dollar has lost its value on the market; prices are very hard and unemployment is at the peak, which is not a good sign for our economy."

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