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Liberia’s new president takes workplace with a promise to ‘rescue’ Africa’s oldest republic

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MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberia’s new president, Joseph Boakai, was sworn into workplace Monday after his slim win in a November election. Boakai, who at age 79 has change into the nation’s oldest president, promised to unite and rescue Africa’s oldest republic from its financial woes.

“Partisanship should give method to nationalism,” Boakai instructed residents and overseas delegation members who attended his inauguration ceremony in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. He listed enhancing adherence to the rule of legislation, combating corruption and renewing “the misplaced hope” of residents as his priorities.

The ceremony, nonetheless, ended abruptly after Boakai, who wore conventional Liberian apparel for the event, started to point out indicators of bodily misery whereas talking. Officers led him away from the rostrum after he unsuccessfully tried to proceed his handle.

A spokesperson for Boakai’s political social gathering stated the president’s weak point was attributable to warmth and had nothing to do together with his well being.

Boakai has dismissed considerations about his age, arguing that it got here with a wealth of expertise and achievements that might profit the nation.

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He gained a good run-off election to defeat Liberia’s youngest-ever president, George Weah. Public goodwill towards soccer legend-turned-politician Weah waned as he neared the tip of his first six-year time period. Critics accused him of not fulfilling marketing campaign guarantees to repair Liberia’s ailing financial system, stamp out corruption and to make sure justice for victims of the nation’s back-to-back civil wars between 1989 and 2003.

Boakai, who earned a college diploma in enterprise administration, has been energetic in Liberia’s nationwide politics because the Eighties, when he served because the agriculture minister. Beginning in 2006, he spent 12 years as vp beneath Africa’s first democratically elected feminine chief, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

He misplaced his first run for the presidency in 2017 to Weah, who took over from Sirleaf within the West African nation’s first democratic switch of energy because the finish of its civil wars. Boakai touted his second presidential marketing campaign as a rescue mission to free Liberians from what he described as Weah’s failed management.

His guarantees however, any Positive modifications from the brand new Liberian chief are prone to come slowly contemplating how totally different Boakai’s agenda is from his predecessors, based on Ibrahim Nyei, a researcher and political analyst at Liberia’s Ducor Institute for Social and Financial Analysis.

“It isn’t going to be a stroll within the park for the Boakai administration,” Nyei stated. “The brand new management must overview concessions agreements signed by Weah and Ellen’s governments to determine which one works within the curiosity of Liberia (and) search new worldwide companions that may assist handle a few of the nation’s challenges.”

Monrovia resident Ansu Banban Jr. stated he thinks Boakai will enhance the lives of residents. “I don’t anticipate something lower than good from the president,” Banban stated.

Boakai has a public repute as a “hardworking and humble politician” whose character and political expertise counsel he “could present extra dedication towards combating corruption than earlier administrations,” stated Zoe McCathie, a political and safety analyst at Africa-focused Sign Threat Consulting.

“However, it’s unlikely that Boakai will have the ability to totally handle this matter as a result of entrenched nature of corruption inside Liberian politics,” McCathie stated. “Reaching sustained financial progress is anticipated to be an uphill battle for the Boakai administration (as a result of) of the Liberian financial system’s lack of diversification and dependence on imports.”


Asadu reported from Abuja, Nigeria

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