Continuing his clarion call for Liberians not to elect any member of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regime to the presidency during the upcoming presidential and legislative elections, Benoni Urey, political leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP), says it’s time to change Liberia,.
Speaking over the weekend at a petitioning program by Charcoal Union Drivers Association held in Zaza Community, Paynesville City, Urey said he is looking up to Liberians, especially eligible voters, to elect someone who can change Liberia and improve the living conditions of the people.
“The time has come for us to change Liberia and create better living conditions for all of us. The time has come for us to put our hands together and raise it up and say, ‘Liberia you must change.’ No matter who you are, where you are from, we must unite to move our country forward,” he said.
Urey’s assertions were in response to a petition from the Coal Union Drivers Association supporting his aspiration for president in the ensuing elections.
Urey informed the group that despite Liberia’s international debt relief under President Sirleaf’s administration, Liberia is now engulfed in more debt than ever in the history of the country.
“We got debt relief under Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,” Urey said. The international community was so good to us. The people waived all our debts, but we continue to be indebted.
“Our leader has put us into more debt than almost all the Presidents from the time Liberia was founded. We need to work hard to ensure that those debts are settled,” he said.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after Liberia reached the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) completion point in June 2010, external debt sustainability improved, providing fiscal space for new government borrowing to finance key public investment projects.
However, “after a slow start, the pace of external borrowing has accelerated since 2012 and total newly contracted external borrowings amounted to US843.5 million (42 percent of GDP as of end of July 2015), mainly on account of increased external financing for infrastructure and energy projects, with about 65 percent of the total funding provided by traditional multilateral creditors on highly concessional terms.
Eric Johnson, a senior official who spoke on behalf of the association, encouraged Mr. Urey to remain committed and unwavering in the 2017 elections.
“We are with you today and to the end of the 2017 elections as Liberians need to steer the affairs of the country,” Johnson said. “We believe that this is the time to have someone like you. The association is ready to work with you.”
According to him, the association has investigated Urey and realized that they are in making the right decision supporting him in the race for the Liberian presidency, adding that, “We want you to also work with the association closely as the election date is getting closer.”