Home Politics Weah Could Win Second Term …. Economic Intelligence Report Reveals

Weah Could Win Second Term …. Economic Intelligence Report Reveals

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By: Varney Dukuly
MONROVIA: “If a united opposition can be formed, the chances of Mr. George Weah, and those of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), will weaken in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections,” expert report released by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), said on the upcoming elections in Liberia.

With offices across the globe including cities like London, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai and Gurgoan, the EIU, in its latest report stressed that in the early days and weeks of the October 10, 2023 elections, there are widespread criticisms against members of the opposition community and that their separation could narrowly lead to President George Weah securing a second term.

“Mr. Weah is standing for re election in the October 2023 polls. It remains to be seen if a united opposition ticket will emerge or if several strong candidates will announce separate bids. A united opposition front would pose a risk to our forecast of Mr. Weah securing another term,” said the One Click report on Liberia.

The EIU, in its forecast, announced that incumbent President George Weah, of the ruling party (CDC) will stay in power throughout and secure a second term in the Presidential elections due in October 2023.
“As the months passed by, the opposition remains divided after the opposition alliance Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) disintegrated in 2022 owing to a dispute between the Unity Party (UP) and the Alternative National Congress(ANC)”, added the report.
But, the forecast analysis indicates that a Boakai-Cummings ticket may cobble together in a bid to consolidate opposition votes.

The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) forecast x-raying political chances in the lead up to the Presidential and Legislative elections seems to vindicate a commitment to leave further questions about opposition unity in the country.

“If Mr. Cummings and Mr. Boakai mount separate presidential bids, this could divide the opposition. Our core forecast for now remains that the fractiousness within the opposition will deliver Mr. Weah and his CDC party fresh terms in office,” added the report.
The expertise of the report laid emphasis on the economy and how fiscal measures can help to improve things in the country.
The EIU: “Mr. Weah is also facing rising anti-incumbency sentiment, in parts of Liberia driven by austerity reforms that are required under the country’s ongoing IMF program (which is in place until December 2023) and by a cost-of-living crisis spurred by the Russia-Ukraine war.”
On the fiscal outlook of the country, the said fiscal deficit will narrow to 4.5% of GDP in 2023, from an estimated 5.9% of GDP in 2022.
“Expenditure will rise as a percentage of GDP in 2023, which is an election year, but the pace of increase will be in part offset by lower inflation and lower subsidy costs, chiefly owing to the phasing out of the expensive rice subsidy.”
The report quotes the government as saying that it will refrain from introducing a fuel price subsidy. ‘State owned enterprises (SOEs) will be reformed in order to improve their financial management and reduce their burden on the state.’
Revenue is forecast to rise in 2023, more rapidly than expenditure, as revenue mobilization efforts take effect, largely in the form of initiatives to improve tax administration,” added the report.
“Another source of increased government revenue in 2023 will be royalties earned under the Mineral Development Agreement that was agreed with a Luxembourg-headquartered steel manufacturer, Arcelor Mittal-Liberia which will use domestic rail and infrastructure at Buchanan, a Liberian port, to export Liberian and Guinean iron ore. The deficit will narrow further in 2024, to 3.8% of GDP,” said EIU report.
But, expenditure as a percentage of GDP will decline as election-related spending abates and efforts to reduce the public-sector wage bill and improve SOEs’ financial governance continue.
“Revenue will continue to rise sharply in nominal terms as mineral royalties flow in,” said the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU.

“The deficits in both years will be financed largely by concessional loans and budgetary grants from large multilateral agencies, including the World Bank.
Report: “We forecast that government debt will rise to the equivalent of 63.1% of GDP at end-2024. Further progress on reining in the fiscal deficit will be needed to alleviate longer-term concerns over debt sustainability.”
The latest ‘One click report’ on Liberia among other things mentioned that Liberian dollar will depreciate in 2023-24, reflecting reduced demand for emerging market assets in line with global risk sentiment.

Founded in 1946, EIU forecasts economic trends, political forces and industry developments in every country in the world.
The group with offices across the globe including cities like London, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai and Gurgoan, combine data, analysis and forecasting to guide informed decisions by businesses and policymakers.

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