(LINA) – A high-ranking member of the opposition block has dispelled rumors that the decision of opposition political parties to honor the meeting called by President George Manneh Weah was basically to seek jobs in his government.
Speaking to a team of journalists following the meeting between opposition political parties and President Weah at a local hotel on Thursday, Cole Bangalu said members of the opposition are not seeking jobs in the government, stressing: “We are not seeking jobs from the president.”
Bangalu, who spoke on behalf of a coalition of three political parties – Unity Party (UP), Liberty Party (LP) and Alternative National Congress (ANC) – noted that the coalition is basically engaging the government to help move the country forward, stressing, “Government is not the place for people to seek jobs.”
“The duty of government is not basically to create jobs; the duty and responsibility of the government is to provide the enabling environment for jobs to be created because government is small to accommodate everybody,” Bangalu emphasized.
According to him, the meeting with the President was about engaging the opposition to discuss the forward march of the country and the Liberian people; something which, he claimed, has always been supported by the opposition.
“The opposition, especially the coalition, has over the past few months supported the development drive of the country and we will continue to do so; we will oppose when the need arises and will criticize when it is right to do so; that is why we are not a blind opposition,” he added.
“We will continue to checkmate the government to ensure the right things are done so that the country can develop and citizens’ lives improve; this democratic space that has been created must be captured by all,” Bangalu observed.
The UP National Vice Chair for Inter-Governmental Affairs indicated that the coalition has catalogued and encapsulated several issues of national concern, including the state of the economy, rule of law, good governance, and security, into a document, which they promised to submit to the office of the President upon request at the meeting.
The UP stalwart, however, frowned on government for putting into place regulations that tend to hinder the registration of certain media institutions, noting: “The government was elected overwhelmingly and as such restricting the practice of free speech and free press should be avoided.”
A forum between the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government and opposition political parties on Thursday went behind closed doors shortly after opining formalities.
Representatives of the nearly 20 political parties introduced themselves earlier before President Weah took the podium to elaborate on the purpose of the gathering.
The Liberian leader noted that since the 2017 presidential and general elections he thought it wise to “call everyone who participated in the polls to gather in the spirit of national unity.”
Shortly after his brief remarks, President Weah asked the media, some of which were carrying the event live on multi-media platforms, to excuse the gathering for the discussions which, he said, would be “interactive,” to proceed in earnest.