News / Africa

Liberian Presidential Hopeful Vows New Economic Policy

Dew Tuan-Wleh Mason says President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has failed to deliver on her promises of good health care, good roads and education

Liberian Presidential Hopeful Vows New Economic Policy
Liberian Presidential Hopeful Vows New Economic Policy

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

One of the candidates in Liberia’s upcoming October presidential election says, if elected, he would institute a new economic policy that would empower Liberians to have a say in the management of their natural resources.

Dew Tuan-Wleh Mason, Liberia’s former ambassador to France under former President Samuel Doe, is running as the candidate of the New Deal Movement Party.

Mason says Liberians should replace President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf because her government has failed to deliver on the promises of good health care, good roads, and education.

“I’m not running because I’m looking for a job. I’m running for president because I believe we can do better. We need to start to solve some of the fundamental problems to which our country is saddled. We are running because we need to institute a new economic policy which will empower Liberians. Yes, we are running because we are not pleased with the lack of adequate health, the lack of good education, the lack of roads,” he says.

Mason cites as an example the lack of public participation in recent concession agreements affecting the country’s mines, forestry and petroleum products.

Liberia’s Planning and Economic Affairs Minister, Amara Konneh, told VOA recently the government’s framework for improving the lives of its citizens can be found in the Poverty Reduction Strategy covering the period 2008-2011.

He says it aims at rehabilitating the West African country’s broken infrastructure, including roads and hospitals.

Mason, who supported Mrs. Sirleaf in the 2005 election, says he’s running against her this time around because she did not deliver on her promises.

“As my people asked me in Grand Gedeh (County), the question was asked as to why [I am] not supporting the president again. I said, ‘Well, we native people go around during Christmas time and dress the devil and we bring the devil to entertain us, and the drums begin to beat and the women begin to sing and we realize that the devil can’t dance. So, those of us who want to bring that devil to town, it becomes our responsibility to go and undress that devil and bring a new devil to town,’” Mason says.

He says Liberians should elect him in October as the new country devil and if it turns out he cannot dance, they should remove him also.

Mason says, if elected, he would do a better job in fighting corruption, which he describes as the albatross that has been hanging around the neck of Liberia.

“I think the first step is to show leadership by example. Leadership in the fight against corruption must begin with the president. As you know, our people say the fish begins to rot from the head. We need to ensure that the president sets the example,” he says.

The government admits corruption has become intertwined in the fabric of society, but Anti-Corruption Commission Chairperson Frances Johnson-Morris told VOA recently the Sirleaf government has the political will to fight corruption.

Mason says his party is among a number of opposition political parties that have organized themselves to defeat the coming August 23rd referendum because it is intended to re-elect President Sirleaf.

“There is an attempt to change the residency requirement for election of a president from 10 to 5 years, which…tailored to…the peculiar circumstances of the president,” he says.

Liberia’s Elections commission chairman James Fromayan told VOA recently that Mr. Mason and a number of other potential candidates could also stand to benefit if the residency amendment.

Mason was a member of the progressive Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), which played a pivotal role in the struggle for social justice and democracy in Liberia in the 1980s.

But now, he’s considered by some as a wealthy man. He says he gained his wealth not from working for the government, but as a businessman.

“As you know, I’m one of the few government officials who resigned his post because of differences with [the] government because of the excesses of the [Doe] regime and I went into private business, particularly in the oil business from which I was able to acquire the capital that you might consider as being rich,” he says.

Mason says he was instrumental in bringing together nine opposition parties to form the National Democratic Coalition.

“Come October 11, 2011 we shall win. The question is very clear in our minds. To achieve victory, we need unity and the unity of the forces is what we have been able to put together,” he says.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid