-Seeks Roundtable Dialogue; UP Chairman Wilmot Paye Says It’s Welcoming, But Wants Genuine Commitment
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
President George Weah is extending olive branch to all Liberians including opposition political parties, Civil Society organizations, traditional and religious leaders seeking roundtable dialogue to discuss pertinent national issues.
President Weah call comes five days after the Council of Patriots (CoP) stage a peaceful protest on June 7, 2019 over the high cost of living in the country under his watch as Head of state.
Addressing the nation on Tuesday, the Liberian Chief Executive called on the COP, CSOs and other national bodies to come with their collective ideas during the roundtable dialogue that will help improve Liberia.
The Liberian leader in his message acknowledged the waves of happenings including economy shortcomings, hardships among others, but was fast to say that all of these things can be addressed with the help of every Liberian.
The Liberian leader also praised the COP for the way they conducted themselves during the June 7, 2019 much-publicized protest.
“We will have to come together to devise and support new measures which are necessary to address the structural defects and imbalances in our economy,” the President said, acknowledging that every citizen has a vested interest in the peace and economic development of our country.
“My Government recognizes that the alternative views of all citizens are equally vital in finding a way forward. It is because of this fact that I now take the opportunity to again invite the leaders of political parties, civil society groups, elders, religious leaders, our traditional leaders, student leaders and the business community to a round-table discussion to afford them the opportunity to present their alternative views or their suggestions on the economy.”
He called on Liberians to sit and dialogue on the way forward for economic revival in Liberia.
“Bring your ideas to the table, and I assure you that they will be given my most careful consideration,” the Liberian President asserted.
President Weah also thanked not only the national security apparatus of the country for their professionalism in protecting lives and property and ensuring public safety but also commended “our international partners for their continued support in assisting the Government and people of Liberia to consolidate the democratic gains that we have made over the years.”
He extolled the local and international media for their coverage in keeping with their professional responsibilities.
Wilmot Paye, Unity Party’s Chairman:
When contacted via mobile phone, opposition Unity Party Chairman Wilmot Paye commended the Liberian leader for such decision, but said it must be a genuine decision.
According to Paye, such dialogue has been one of their quests from the opposition community, but said he is thankful that the president has realized such call.
“I support the idea, but it should be genuinely done. I don’t think it is bad for Liberians to sit and have conversations and talk about their country. I think that’s what June 7 talks about in the first place,” he said.
He said June 7 was such a bigger platform for people to identify the issues affecting the country.
“It’s good for the president of the country to call for a dialogue, but the dialogue should be genuine, discuss issues on the table and put himself in the position to listen and muster the courage to address them ad we must talk about our problems continuously,” he said.