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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs