Keen on leaving behind a legacy of peace and democratic consolidation, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called her cabinet into action to ensured that the administration’s socio-economic development programs and projects are achieved, 290 days before the inauguration of her successor in January, 2018.
The 2017 elections are expected to usher in the country’s first smooth transfer of power since 1944. Since the end of Liberia’s civil war in 2003, the country has had two successive post-war Presidential and Legislative elections (2005 and 2011) in addition to a Special Senatorial election in 2014 for half of the 30-member Senate. This means, the October 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections would be crucial for the transition and consolidation of democracy in Liberia.
Johnson Sirleaf, who has served two terms is constrained by the Constitution of Liberia (Article 50) against contesting. Her Vice President, Joseph Boakai, is in the race to replace her. Boakai is to face challenge against a number of opposition political parties or groupings including the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), which comprises the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) of George Weah, National Patriotic Party (NPP) of Jewel Howard-Taylor and the Liberian People’s Democratic Party (LPP) of indicted former Speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Alex Tyler.
Below is a presidential statement on the President’s transitional plan.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has tasked Cabinet to ensure collaboration, effective communication and unhindered cooperation if the government must achieve its 150 days of actionable progress along the last mile of 290 days.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader was speaking last week during a two-day Cabinet Retreat in Julijuah, Bomi County. She challenged her Cabinet about the need to find innovative ways to fund and take achievable action with a view to leaving the next administration a solid foundation from where it would build upon. She said “Keeping our promise to Liberians; Nice things don’t happen, unless you make them happen.”
As part of the 150 days Action Plan, the administration is committed to providing the next government a solid foundation to continue the peace and to achieve the change that Liberia needs. Cabinet mandated a National Transition Plan, Ministries, Agencies and Commissions Transition; Civil Service Transition, Assets Transition, Security and Rule of Law Transition.
In the execution plan for the 150 days – 37 actions were captured under agriculture, education, health, energy, ICT, roads, water, ports, commerce and public buildings. This would allow the President Delivery Unity (PDU) to oversee the timely delivery of the 150 plan while Cabinet will provide support to focus on success plan through dedicated Cabinet Meetings for regular updates.
Cabinet has further mandated that the Democratic Transition priorities and ensures the first transition from one democratically elected government to another in this lifetime is fully realized. In order for various Ministries, Agencies and Commissions to leave the next administration accurate and comprehensive information on assets, ideas, and plans, the Cabinet Secretariat in concert with the Office of the President will set a time for compliance.
The two-day Cabinet Retreat ended with a commitment for renewal, rededication and determination to remain Strong on the Last Mile in furtherance of achieving the achievable.