President Sirleaf Meets Second Group of Opposition Politicians

Tuesday, 10th July 2007
Members of opposition political parties in a meeting with President Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
Members of opposition political parties in a meeting with President Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
Photo Credit: Adama B. Thompson/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - The second round of Consultative meetings between President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and opposition political parties has taken place in Monrovia, with a call by opposition parties for more of such meetings.

During the meeting characterized by the frank exchange of views on issues of national concern, the opposition politicians discussed several issues including government’s Interim Poverty Reduction, the current national draft budget; the economy, education, security, as well as government’s fight against corruption.

The parties, according to an Executive Mansion release, welcomed government’s Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy as an essential roadmap in government’s development drive, but observed that the current budget did not include adequate budget lines in addressing poverty reduction. The parties regretted that the current budget debate in the House was focused more or trivial matters rather the more substantive budget issues.

On security sector reform, the Opposition described as too slow the process, in the wake of a drawn down plan by the United Nations Military Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), and expressed the hope that the process would be accelerated. They also noted recent statements attributed to some government officials that opposition politicians were behind an alleged attempt to unseat the government.

Such blanket statements without any firm evidence, the politicians observed, create suspicion and apprehension among the people.

The politicians also commented on issues regarding the illegal sale of land, the need for a monetary policy, education incentives, as well the need for government to create more employment opportunities for its citizens.

The Opposition acknowledged the steady progress taking place in the country and emphasized the need to reach out to the citizens on government policies and programs. The opposition politicians lauded President Johnson Sirleaf for improving the international image of the country, and said it was important to hold together to sustain the international goodwill for Liberia.

The President who earlier briefed the politicians on government programs aimed at addressing the challenges, thanked the Opposition politicians for their observations.

Tuesday’s Executive Consultations with the political parties is part of discussions taking place between President Johnson Sirleaf and National Stake Holders. ‘We may not agree on everything… but there may be some areas of convergence, where we can find a common ground, as we move forward in revising some our policies,” President Johnson Sirleaf added.

The Liberia Destiny Party; Union of Liberian Democrats; Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia; National Vision Party of Liberia; National Reformation Party; the Liberia National Union and the Progressive Democratic Party, attended Tuesday’s Consultative Meeting.