“People have the right to protest and we are not going to stop the protest,” says President George Weah about the hype over a plan to march and present a petition to national authorities.
Speaking to reporters on the grounds of the Capitol Building on Tuesday shortly after a lengthy meeting with the Liberian Senate, President Weah said the meeting centered around the many concerns being raised in the country.
“It was a very good meeting. We were discussing national issues that will keep the country peaceful, some of the concerns of citizens, the protest, economy and a wide range of other issues,” President Weah said.
The Liberian leader further noted that there are no plans to meet the protesters of the purported June 7 march and, as such, the protesters should go on with their action.
President Weah made further reference to the negative impact of the April 14, 1979 rice riot in Liberia, expressing the belief that the experience should not be repeated ever in the country’s history.
“There are no plans to meet with the protesters of June 7 but I think there is need to keep our country safe. They can go on with their protest, we are not going to stop the protest; it is their constitutional right to protest but, I think it is important to dialogue because we know what protests have done in our country,” President Weah said.
At the same time, the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Chie, has said the meeting was in line with the spirit of the Constitution which calls for coordination among the three branches of government.
Pro-Temp Chie indicated that the key purpose of the meeting was to exchange ideas about the government and its forward march.
“At the meeting, the Senate presented to President Weah some issues of national concern and interest within the country,” Pro-Temp Chie said.
Among other things, Chie named justice and security, economy, the status of investigative reports on the L$16 billion and US$25 million mop up of excess Liberian dollars from the market.
He further mentioned the planned June 7 protest, withdrawal of the tenure bill, assessment and performance of current government officials and the concept of a government of inclusion.
Meanwhile, the President Pro-Tempore has disclosed that two of the three members of the Liberian Senate who are part of the “Council of Patriots,” the group planning the June 7 protest, were part of the meeting with President Weah.
The Senators are Sando Johnson and Daniel Nataahn of Bomi and Gbarpolu counties, while Senator Oscar Cooper of Margibi County was absent.
“We believe the Executive Manson will provide more details on the Senate meeting with the President today,” Pro-Temp Chie said.