Liberia: Weah Prepared for Protesters

Liberia's President George Manneh Weah has told the country's traditional partner, the United States of America that the responsibility is on him to protect the peace and stability of the state, though he recognizes the right of protesters here to peacefully assemble and petition government.

His comment was contained in a speech delivered at the United States Embassy near Monrovia Wednesday, 8 March during observance in advance of the 243rd Independence Anniversary of the United States of America.

Allegations of corruption, the poor state of the economy and a US$25m mop - up exercise are among many other reasons why opposition and critics of President Weah's regime are saying they will protest and make demands for some reforms here.

In the wake of panic among Liberians over the pending June 7 Protest being planned by a group calling itself Council of Patriots (COP), suggestions have been coming in from different quarters of the society for a dialogue between the government and the protesters.

The president says he has no plan to meet with the protesters, and the chairman of Liberia's four collaborating opposition parties that have just announced support to the protest, Benoni Urey, is dramatically demanding the removal of ruling party Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Chair MulbahMorlu from his post as precondition for protesters to meet the president.

However President Weah emphasizes that he took an oath of office as Liberia's president to uphold the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Liberia.

As such, he says it is his constitutional duty to protect all the rights granted under the Constitution to every citizen including the right to assemble peacefully and orderly and present petition to the government on matters concerning the common good of the country.

President Weah makes emphasis that he has an equal duty and responsibility to preserve and protect the peace and stability of the state, vowing that he shall fulfill these responsibilities in equal measures.

Meanwhile, President Weah observes that since the inception of his administration just over fifteen months ago, there has been steady growth in the relationship between Liberia and the United States, as well as a closer collaboration between the US Embassy and the relevant officials of his government.

Weah says his Administration will continue to work closely with the Ambassador and her team as they explore new avenues for the common pursuit of peace, security and development.

Additionally, President Weah indicates that the two nations are bound by a special relationship which is based on common ideals, shared principles and a friendship which can never be broken.By Bridgett Milton-Edited by Winston W. Parley

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