George Weah, the president of Liberia, declared on Monday that he would run for reelection later in the year.
The revelation comes in the midst of growing criticism of Weah, who is charged of being disconnected from the people who are struggling with rising costs and food shortages.
“My fellow citizens, I will be coming to you shortly to ask you to renew for a second time the mandate that you gave me six years ago,” Weah said in his annual State of the Nation address.
October 10 is set aside for the election. Weah, a former international football star, was elected in October 2017 and took office in 2018. Late last year, the 56-year-old received criticism for spending more than a month away from the country of West Africa.
At the end of October, he traveled abroad for a number of political events in several nations, including the chance to see his footballer son, Timothy Weah, play for the United States at the World Cup in Qatar.
Weah was last saw in his country, where residents have been facing rising costs and shortages of essential items, on December 18 of last year.
On December 17, several hundred Liberians participated in nonviolent demonstrations at the invitation of the opposition to oppose what they refer to as Weah’s “incompetence” and his disregard for the suffering of common Liberians.
One of Weah’s main campaign pledges had been to fight corruption, but in September, after the US accused three of his close supporters of wrongdoing, he accepted their resignations.
The guys were initially removed from their positions by Weah after Washington sanctioned them due to claims involving multi-million dollar contracts and at least $1.5 million in improperly diverted public cash.
Graft is still pervasive; in fact, Transparency International’s 2021 corruption perceptions index placed Liberia 136th out of 180 nations.
Former American slaves established Liberia as a colony in 1822, and it became Africa’s first republic 25 years later. Between 2006 through 2018, the nation’s first female president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, presided. It is still healing from two civil wars that each claimed 250,000 lives.
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