Liberian President-elect George Weah has vowed to fight widespread corruption and improve people’s welfare in the impoverished West African Country.
Weah made the pledges at a press conference in the capital, Monrovia, on Saturday, delivering his first speech to the nation after securing a decisive victory at a presidential election run-off last week.
“Those looking to cheat the Liberian people through corruption will have no place,” the president-elect said, in an apparent reference to his predecessor, Johnson Sirleaf, whose 12-year presidency was tarnished by a series of high-profile scandals.
“I declare publicly today that transforming the lives of all Liberians is a singular mission,” Weah said, adding that he aimed to “improve the lives” of the people in Liberia.
The former football star stressed that the country would be open to foreign investments, also calling on Liberians living abroad to return home and promote national unity.
“To investors we say Liberia is open for business,” Weah said. “We are not enemies. We welcome you with open arms as we try to build our country.”
The Liberian president-elect said he would form his cabinet in the coming days prior to his inauguration in mid-January and work to expand the country’s revenue base.
Weah scored a landslide victory with 61.5 percent of the votes over outgoing Vice President Joseph Boakai, who got 38.5 percent in the run-off on December 26.
The Sirleaf administration, elected in 2005, guided the nation out of the ruins of civil war and through the horrors of a 2014-16 Ebola crisis but is accused of failing to combat poverty and corruption.