Capitol Hill, Monrovia – Following his defeat by opposition Unity Party leader Joseph Boakai, President George Weah called his first cabinet meeting. In 2017, President Weah won fourteen out of fifteen counties in the second round of voting, beating Joseph Boakai. However, in the elections held on October 10, 2023, and November 14, 2023, Mr. Weah was unable to maintain his lead over Amb. Boakai.
Weah conceded defeat and congratulated Boakai after hearning the results from the National Election Commission’s daily press briefing on the presidential election. This was done without the NEC making a final announcement, which is unusual in African politics, where a ruling party seeking a second term would typically accept defeat. Many, especially partisans and supporters of the CDC and other cooperating political parties, believed that the Weah government would reverse the tide in their favour, with just over fifty percent voting for UP Boakai and slightly over forty-nine percent for CDC Weah.
Insuring his supporters and partisans to accept the NEC results of the just concluded presidential election, President Weah who had always preached about peace managed to allay their fears. At the next election, in 2029, he assured them, they would assemble a more formidable force that would retake the country.
He accused the officials he placed into office of failing to do enough to persuade the people of Liberia to support a second term, a belief shared by the country’s citizens. President Weah once served as peace ambassador to the UN, and a Senator in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government.
President Weah full speech at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, November 22, 2023:
The Dean and Members of the Cabinet,
Deputy and Assistant Ministers,
Heads of State-Owned Enterprises, Commissions, and Autonomous Agencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Thank you for joining me today as we convene in this first post-election Cabinet Meeting to discuss a pivotal moment in our nation’s history—the transition from the Incumbent Administration to the Incoming Administration.
The recently concluded October 10, 2023, Legislative and Presidential Elections marked a significant chapter for Liberia. Out of twenty candidates, the first-round results placed us slightly ahead of our closest rival, Ambassador Joseph Nyumah Boakai, prompting a Run-off Election on November 14, 2023.
Ahead of the final tally of the November 14, 2023 Presidential Run-off Election and declaration of a Presidential Winner by the National Elections Commission, I graciously and honorably conceded, extending my congratulations to Ambassador Boakai as President-Elect of Liberia.
MEMBERS OF THE CABINET, DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
At this critical juncture, let us reflect on the significant role our Administration has played in setting an unprecedented democratic roadmap not only for Liberia and Africa, but for the world at large. The free, fair, peaceful, transparent, inclusive and credible elections that we organized and sponsored continue to win wide-spread international recognition and admiration, and I extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to each of you for your roles in achieving this successful feat.
Now, it is time for us to turn our attention to the transition process. To facilitate a smooth transfer of executive power, I have issued Executive Order No. 123, establishing the Joint Presidential Transition Team (JPTT). This team will be co-chaired by both the Incumbent and Incoming Presidents, demonstrating our commitment to a collaborative and orderly handover.
I am hereby calling on all government entities, including ministries, agencies, commissions, and state-owned enterprises, to initiate the transition process within your respective institutions by preparing a comprehensive Turnover Note. Your Turnover Note must include information that is of critical relevance to the transition, and I urge you to work closely with your respective Legal Teams and the Legal Adviser to the President to ensure its accuracy and completeness.
I am advised that the specific components of your Turnover Note must encompass the following elements:
1. A catalog or inventory listing of all government or state-owned assets.
2. Relevant financial records, including sources and amounts of external funding.
3. Completed and ongoing projects with sources of funding.
4. Important human-resource-related information and or data.
5. A listing of external partners and the focus of their support.
6. Current legal commitments, including cases, disputes, and settlements.
7. International commitments and obligations.
8. Any other crucial information or data that you may deem necessary for the Incoming Administration.
Your Turnover Note is a legal document that the Incoming Administration will use to assess the status of your respective institutions. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to prepare it under the guidance of your Legal Team and in close consultation with the Technical Team of the JPTT, as specified in Executive Order No. 123 that I will sign today after this Cabinet Meeting.
The Director General of the General Services Agency is mandated to assist in tracking all Government Assets during this transition. The deadline for the submission of the Turnover Note is within two weeks from today, and all Turnover Notes must be submitted to the Office of the Director General of the Cabinet.
The National Transition Process is time-sensitive, and I expect all of you to prioritize this process in your daily activities, going forward. I am hereby mandating all ministries, agencies, commissions, and state-owned enterprises to cooperate and fully support the transition process.
The Director General of the Cabinet and the Legal Adviser to the President will work closely with you to ensure that necessary information is timely generated and properly communicated.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dean of the Cabinet will lead the Joint Presidential Transition Team, and I expect all Team Members to cooperate fully. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dean of the Cabinet will communicate with the President-Elect to designate his Team Members for the first and all other subsequent meetings of the JPTT, and provide daily briefings to my Office.
In conclusion, I want to express my gratitude for your unwavering support over the past years. In spite of the many challenges that we encountered, we take pride in the work that we have done to serve the Liberian people. The interest of our people remains paramount, and I trust that the new administration will build upon our accomplishments to make Liberia even better.
I implore each of you to prepare and submit your Turnover Notes diligently, thereby contributing to a seamless transition of power from the Incumbent Government to the Incoming Government. Let us approach this process with a commitment to accuracy, credibility, and the collective welfare of our beloved Liberia.
Thank you, and may we continue to work together for the prosperity of our Nation.