Thursday, December 22, 2005
Footballer Weah concedes Liberian election
The Observer is reporting that George Weah has withdrawn challenge to the outcome of the election. Current reports contradict, which the Liberian Observer reporting that Weah has withdrawn his claims of irregularities in last month's presidential election, while the BBC claims
Mr Weah is not dropping his claims of being cheated, but said he would drop his action to give Liberians "the opportunity to carry on the business of national recovery and redemption in an atmosphere of tranquility"This is generally good news, and may help to minimize violence and hopefully help stabilize the government, although smaller tribal clashed continue to flare up around the country. The fact that Weah has not completely withdrawn his claims of irregularities does, though, leave open the possibility of sporadic violence from many of his lingering supporters. With the recent engagement, though, and reports that president-elect Johnson-Sirleaf may open a post for Weah in her government does bode well. In unrelated news, the UN has voted to continue the sanctions against Liberia in the trade of arms, diamonds and timber. This will cause Liberia's economic recovery to continue to stagnate, and prevent a faster recovery, but a recent report by the UN suggests that corruption within the business and government continue to be endemic
In its report, the Panel notes that requirements for lifting the embargo on Liberian rough diamonds and timber have not been met, while recent agreements on iron ore suggest that Liberians cannot rely on their Government or the international community to protect their interests. Instead, it said, transparent business negotiations are necessary.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Ellen and Weah meet
President-elect Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and loosing presidential candidate George Weah meet in a promising development since Weah's recent provocative speeches:
President-elect of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and defeated presidential candidate of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), George Manneh Weah on Saturday held major discussions behind closed door. The Chief Mediator in the Liberian peace process during a reception rather spontaneously arranged the impromptu meeting between Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and former football legend, George Weah at the Executive Mansion. -snip- Although details of the meeting between the President-elect Sirleaf, and Amb. Weah, were not disclosed, but sources close to the meeting divulged that their discussions centered on maintaining peace and stability in the country. Political observers said the discussion between Amb. Weah and the President-elect is a significant break through in the Liberian process. It is the first time that the two political leaders have held closed door discussion since the end of the runoff election. Mr. Weah had persistently decried massive fraud in the run-off, which Mrs. Sirleaf overwhelmingly won.Time will tell if Weah backs off the rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the 16 Jan inauguration.