Home Politics Boakai Takes Charge …Vows To Fight Corruption, Ensure Rule Of Law

Boakai Takes Charge …Vows To Fight Corruption, Ensure Rule Of Law

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MONROVIA: Former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has been sworn in as Liberia’s new President on Monday, following his election victory over former President George Manneh Weah, with the challenge of tackling poverty and corruption.

The 79-year-old narrowly beat former President Weah in November’s runoff polls with 50.64 percent of the votes to 49.36 percent.

President Boakai delivered his inaugural speech on Monday, January 22, 2024, echoing the dawn of new day in the country.

“I applaud the Liberian people who voted for change. Not only did they vote for change but they protected their vote, a phenomenal that should not be taken lightly,” President Boakai said in a speech during his inauguration ceremony held on the grounds of Capitol, the seat of the National Legislature in the Capital, Monrovia, in the presence of several local and foreign dignitaries including representatives of world leaders and diplomatic delegations.

The new President framed the people’s decision as a message of ‘no more business as usual.’

Exhorting supporters to prepare for what lies ahead for the next six years, he said: “This is a clarion call for new Liberia, a Liberia that genuinely practices the rule of law and adheres to the tenants of democracy in the interest of the people.”

Boakai has over 40 years of political experience already behind him. He was vice president from 2006 to 2018 under Liberia’s first female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, before being beaten by Weah in the 2017 elections.

Many international guests and supporters of democracy across the world have viewed the peaceful transfer of Power in Liberia in nearly 70 years, with the first being 2028, when former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf transferred power to Weah after an election that was characterized by the global community as free, fair, transparent and credible.

The latest peaceful transfer of state power occurred in West Africa, a region that has seen a succession of military coups in recent years in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Niger.

A nation of 5 million people have been plagued with corruption, high levels of poverty, and a weak justice system, after nearly two decades of civil war.

Impunity related to crimes committed during those civil wars is another unresolved issue.
In an intensely personal address, the President compared the vote in the 2023 election as a reflection of Liberia’s long and arduous struggle for democracy.

He said his administration has evolved into a democratic dispensation, with inclusive governance as watchword.

Boakai: “Ordinary Liberians have made possible this democratic dividend which mightily contributes to national, regional, and global peace. This must now become an irreversible path to Liberia’s destiny.”
Given his long career in politics, Liberians expect Boakai to create jobs, improve the economy, strengthen institutions, and fight corruption – which was one of his key campaign pledges.
The harshness of the fundamental issues of human livelihood reveals what is at stake for the new administration.

President Boakai is turning increasingly to the slogan which has proved to be the UP’s single best motivator.

“We can no more attempt to bury our heads in the proverbial sand. We see hard times, we see disfunction, we see culture of impunity, we see corruption in high and low places. It is these and similar conditions that we have come to RESCUE,” said President Boakai during his inauguration.

President Boakai’s remarks carried echoes of the 2023 campaign, when he presented himself as the Rescuer of the nation’s problems against a Weah’s presidency that he and Unity Party supporters argued was on the verge of causing permanent damage to the country.

The speech was Ambassador’s first public event since his inauguration and was in tone and content, arguably his forceful public denunciation of bad governance.

The President’s address meant a kickoff to help define the next six year of his administration.
“But, we come with false assurance to no one. Our plan to fix the ills we are inheriting must go together with realistic expectations. We will act in the first hundred days of our Administration, and then diligently pursue our rescue mission,” he declared.

He began with extensive recounting of Weah’s action before, during and after six year. The country, President Boakai said, cannot allow itself to create a culture of unfinished business, engaged in ad hoc undertakings, making this behavior the “new normal.” Frowning further, he said, the country was chevalier about the rule of law, lowering standards in many domains of our common life as a people apparently losing the way and hope.

President Boakai said by contrast, “I have come to rekindle hope, to reposition us on our national pathway. I have come to remind us that though the accident of our births has made of us a diverse people, we must employ our CITIZENSHIP, our Liberian citizenship to make us a united people, for only a United people can build a nation.”

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