On June 11, President George Weah addressed the nation â€“ two days after the Council of Patriots had read their petition and said they were giving the government a month to meet their demands. The president called for dialogue with civil society groups and political parties. His speech is below.
My Fellow Liberians:
For the past several days, our democracy has been tried, tested, and it has proven to be mature, resilient, and strong.
You are aware that some of our citizens exercised their constitutional right to publicly assemble with the objective to petition their government. We commend them for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they exercised that right.
Let me also extend similar commendation to those other Liberians who chose to go about their normal business on that day â€“ also in a peaceful and orderly manner â€“ with both sides demonstrating tolerance and respect for the rights of the other, in keeping with the rule of law.
My appreciation goes to the national security apparatus of the country for their professionalism in protecting lives and property and ensuring public safety, to 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, to the local and international media for their coverage in keeping with their professional responsibilities.
Let me assure you that, under my leadership, this government will continue to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Liberians â€“ irrespective of their political affiliation, tribe and religion.
Last year, when I assumed the presidency, I informed you that we had inherited a broken economy and pledged to you that I would exert every effort to fix the economy and improve the lives and livelihood of our people. While our efforts to fix the economy are sustained and ongoing, we still face challenging times.
Fellow citizens, it will take the collective effort of all Liberians to achieve the desired objective of reviving the economy and placing our country on a path of sustainable development and transformation. 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.
Fellow citizens, we all have 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.
Fellow citizens, let us 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.
Fellow citizens, once again let me thank all Liberians for their efforts in strengthening the peace and consolidating our democracy.
Fellow citizens, as our national anthem says and I quote, â€œwith our hearts united, weâ€™ll shout the freedom, of a race benighted. Long live Liberia, happy land! A home of glorious liberty. By Godâ€™s command!â€
God bless Liberia and save the state.
I thank you.
Featured photo courtesy of Executive Mansion