President Sirleaf and Political Party Leaders Meet

Friday, 6th July 2007
A cross-section of opposition leaders at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
A cross-section of opposition leaders at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
Photo Credit: Ousman Diallo/Executive Mansion

Monrovia, Liberia - A Consultative meeting between President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and leaders of Political Parties has been held in Monrovia.

The meeting, the President informed the political party leaders was intended to solicit the input of the political parties through the frank exchange of views, suggestions, criticisms and recommendations advanced to help the country move forward. The President said government does not have a monopoly of ideas in achieving its development agenda.

An Executive Mansion release quoted the President as saying, the exercise will involve all groups as a means of soliciting the views of all Stake holders in an effort aimed at confronting some of the challenges facing the country. 

The President informed the politicians that despite the steady progress by government, four major areas continue to pose a challenge to government. She named the challenges as unemployment, Corruption, capacity, and commodity prices.

The Ministers of Finance and Planning briefed the politicians on government’s economic and revenue programs, aimed at the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy. The ministers spoke of progress in efforts to address the country’s debt problem.

Opposition politician, Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh welcomed the consultative meeting with the President because in his words, “when we talk, we avoid violence.”  Dr. Tipoteh called for good faith between government and the political parties as they discuss issues in the national interest.

For his part, ALCOP Chairman Alhaji Kromah stressed the necessity of a mutuality of purpose between the Government and political parties, while National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) Standard Bearer Winston Tubman emphasized the need for the government to create wealth and not just reducing poverty. United Peoples’ Party Executive, Romeo Quiah, praised President Johnson-Sirleaf for organizing the consultation, but frowned on comments that some opposition politicians intend to overthrow the government, without providing any evidence.

National Patriotic Party Standard Bearer Dr. Roland Massaquoi called for a rapid decentralization process in the country and urged the President to make use of the large human resource pool in the country. For his part, National Patriotic Party Executive John Whitfield expressed concerned about the sharp increase in the prices of local commodities, urging the President and her government to take tackle the issue with a sense of urgency. Mr. Whitfield said there is a need for government to adequately disseminate its policies at the grass root level to achieve the desired effect.

Responding, President Johnson Sirleaf said she welcomed the frank exchange of views, adding “we need the support of political parties to succeed; we cannot succeed unless we have a shared vision’. The President thanked the parties for responding to her invitation to the Consultative meeting and said programs being implemented by government are in the interest of the country. The President expressed the hope that the meeting would provide the basis for both government and political parties to begin a new process of cooperation based on trust.

Ten political attended Friday’s Consultative meeting; the first of two meetings scheduled for Political Parties in the country.