Liberian President’s Long Stay Abroad Raises Concerns Among Citizens

Liberian President George Weah’s long absence from the country has raised eyebrows and prompted criticism, leading one opposition figure to ask if the West African nation is running on “autopilot.”

Weah went abroad at the end of October for a string of political gatherings in numerous countries, and to watch his footballer son represent the United States at the World Cup in Qatar.

Since then, the president has not been seen in his homeland where people are battling soaring prices and shortages of basic goods.

Weah earlier shared pictures and video of himself with his son in Qatar on Twitter, speaking of being a “proud daddy” as the US national team qualified for the knockout stages but images of Weah enjoying himself in the stands in Qatar while Liberians struggle have not gone down well with many compatriots venting their anger on social media.

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Weah last month extended his stint abroad, the longest since he became president, by another 25 days and is due back in Liberia on December 18. His government is also facing criticism over its handling of a census that must take place before elections in 2023.

Weah, who came to power in 2017 on a pledge to fight poverty and corruption, has been chosen by his party to seek re-election, but critics say he has failed to honour his commitments.

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