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Transitional Administration Set to Take Power in Liberia - 2003-10-14


A transitional government is set to take power in Liberia Tuesday to prepare for elections in 2005.

Little-known businessman Gyude Bryant is about to be sworn in as the head of a new power-sharing government.

Warring factions chose Mr. Bryant at peace talks in Ghana after former President Charles Taylor went into exile in Nigeria.

Mr. Bryant will take over for Interim President Moses Blah, who has served since Mr. Taylor's departure in August.

Rebel negotiator Moses Jarbo says he has full confidence in Mr. Bryant. "He comes in with a new perspective that is a business leader, someone who is not corrupted by all of the politics," observed Mr. Jarbo. "I think that all of us who are for peace in our country really believe that Gyude Bryant will take us to that next level."

Mr. Bryant arrived in the capital, Monrovia, on Monday under the escort of U.N. peacekeepers now deployed in Liberia. Thousands of cheering Liberians greeted their next leader, chanting We want peace, after 15 years of nearly continuous civil war.

Rebels say the war is now over and they have promised to start disarming right after the inauguration.

Mr. Taylor issued a statement from exile in Nigeria, backing the peace process, and said the international community, which chased him from power, must now deliver for the good of Liberians.

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