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Liberia - Nyvalgt præsident roser sin rival og lover økonomisk fremgang!

LIBERIA: President-elect Sirleaf offers olive branch to rival

IRINnews.org, 24. november 2005

Liberias nyvalgte præsident Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf har lykønsket sin stærkeste rival fodbold-legenden George Weah med han imponerende fremtræden i valgkampen. Alle påstande fra modstanderens lejr om valgsvindel er ignoreret. Den nyvalgte præsident, der er Afrikas første folkevalgte kvindelige statsoverhoved, har anmodet George Weah om at deltage i Liberias nye fredelige opbygning. Valget gav en stor partimæssig spredning i parlamentet, og det forventes at Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf vil arbejde på en bred koalitionsregering, hvori altså også George Weah formentlig vil få tilbudt en post.

Sirleaf greets children at church - ©  IRIN
MONROVIA, 24 Nov 2005 (IRIN) - Liberia's president-elect Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has congratulated her challenger, soccer legend George Weah, for an “impressive showing,” ignoring his charges of electoral fraud and promising to head an inclusive post-war government.

“I congratulate George Weah and the partisans and supporters of the Congress for Democratic Change for their impressive showing in elections,” Sirleaf, who was confirmed as Liberia’s – and Africa’s – first female president, said at her party headquarters on Wednesday.

The National Electoral Commission certified results from a second round run-off poll that gave Sirleaf 59.4 percent of the vote and Weah 40.6 percent. Some Weah backers are still rejecting the outcome.

Sirleaf, who previously told reporters that she might offer Weah a cabinet post if victorious, promised war-weary Liberians hers would be a government of inclusion.

“We will create an inclusive government. We will also work [against] other types of exclusions. Never again in this nation shall a person or group of persons feel so excluded that they have to resort to violence in the name of justice,” said 67-year-old Sirleaf, dressed in a maroon gown with matching head dress.

“No matter what religion, political party or ethnic group you belong to, you will feel proud to belong to this new Liberia,” she said to cheers and applause.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest republic, has a bloody history of coups and guerrilla campaigns orchestrated by warlords who relied on drugged-up child fighters. But Sirleaf says she is determined to close the book on that dark chapter and, with billions of dollars of donor cash, embark on an ambitious phase of reconstruction.

“We will implement the promises we made, we will work to create jobs. We will help our farmers return to the land and grow food for self-sufficiency. We will work to improve social conditions, including the restoration of electricity and water services in a timely manner.”

Some 14 years of brutal civil war has wrecked resource-rich Liberia. There is no running water and the only electricity comes from noisy and costly private generators.

Alan Doss, the head of the UN Mission in Liberia – where 15,000 UN peacekeeping troops are based – urged Weah to take part in rebuilding the country as well.

“We are confident that he will continue to play an active role in shaping the future of his country especially for the many young people who look up to him,” Doss said at the results ceremony earlier on Wednesday.

Weah, a former striker with European football clubs AC Milan and Chelsea, grew up in the slums of the capital, Monrovia. A high school dropout, he earned millions with his soccer talent.

The one-time FIFA footballer of the year has maintained close ties with his home country, including working as a goodwill ambassador for the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.

But Weah’s party has so far ignored mounting pressure to drop fraud claims and some members have said they will not accept the poll results.

Harvard-educated Sirleaf has remained diplomatically tight-lipped on the matter, instead concentrating on the task ahead.

“You shared your dreams, your hopes, your sufferings and your expectations," she said. "You said clearly and repeatedly that you wanted change in Liberia. More importantly, you have backed your words with deeds. You have worked for change, you have voted for change. Now the change you worked and voted for is here."

© IRIN - This article appeared originally on IRIN News.org and is published by engelund.dk according a general agreement. To view the original article, please click here.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is a project of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]


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Opdateret d. 1.12.2005