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The president of the Liberia footballer Weah marks the year in office



The star-turned football player George Weah marks a year as president of Liberia, as many in the impoverished country debate if he has begun to keep the promises of dramatic campaign.

The 1995 FIFA player in his inaugural speech promised to give the young West African nation's hope through job creation and a war on corruption, saying that "Liberians will not be more spectators in their economy ".

Many of these young people now fear that 52-year-old Weah has lost his way.

Weah also recognized a difficult time, telling the annual UN meeting of world leaders in September, according to which "the challenges of leadership are enormous".

Critics said his first mistake was to ignore a key law that requires officials to declare their assets before taking office. Weah finally made a statement under pressure for six months in his term, but it has yet to be published.

As a result, many other officials have not declared their assets. Weah should give the example and ensure responsibility after his transparency commitments, people say.

The new president also signed two foreign loan agreements totaling $ 1 billion for road construction projects, despite opposition. The critics wanted more background checks to establish the authenticity of the agreements before they were signed, but the legislators quickly ratified them. The agreements have so far failed to materialize.

Meanwhile, many say that the streets of Weah's residence have just been paved.

Local media quoted the president of the Weah Party's democratic change party, Mulbah Morlue, saying that the president has decided to carry out personal projects, such as building his mansions, to show that Liberia is now safe for investment .

Finance Minister Samuel Tweah said that the president, who came to the office for almost $ 90 million as a footballer, used his money for the projects and rejected accusations of financial irregularities.

The president also spent $ 1 million on travel abroad in his first year in office, FrontPage Africa reported.

Opposition leaders, including deputy Yekeh Kolubah, accuse Weah of acting at the expense of people in Liberia, which remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

"The nation under George Weah is victimized because of the bankruptcy of the leadership," said Martin Kollie, a university student leader and social justice attorney.

But Weah and his supporters defend his actions during his first year in office.

Weah rejects the criticism that he failed to deliver, emphasizing the re-development of the streets of the capital, Monrovia, and the signing of a law on land rights. He swears to continue to target poverty.

"If you talk negatively about this country, you're hurting yourself," he said.

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