One of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s sons has said that if he is elected senator from Montserrado County, he will be an advocate on all fronts for the people. Robert Sirleaf is standing as an independent candidate in next month’s special election.
Sirlead said he has spent the last seven years promoting a strong development agenda for the county, particularly in economically challenged communities.
He said he and his mother hardly talk about his candidacy. Official campaigning for the December 16th poll gets underway Thursday. A crowded field of candidates is contesting the race.
Among them is two-time presidential candidate and football legend George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), who expressed confidence of victory.
Sirleaf said he will win because his work has impacted more lives than any other candidate.
“We think Montserrado County needs a representation where the priorities will be in the interest of our people. Prioritizing the people is extremely important to us. We spent the last seven years with a very strong development agenda, and we’ve worked extremely hard in urban Montserrado on the economically challenged communities. That is exactly why we came to the conclusion that it (running for senate) was the best thing to do,” he said.
Montserrado County, particularly Monrovia, the seat of the Liberian government, is highly populated and plagued by a lack of adequate public transportation. Sirleaf said if elected, he would make improving public transport one of his priorities.
“If you provide an alternative in terms of public transportation, people would be less willing to use private cars. And so, one of the things we’re going to do is to increase public transportation in general,” Sirleaf said.
Sirleaf tried to allay fears his victory would usher in a kind of Sirleaf dynasty in Liberia.
“I’m an independent candidate. I have a strong will. So, absolutely, she (his mother) really doesn’t have any input. She doesn’t really ask that much about it (his candidacy),” Sirleaf said.
Sirleaf said he will win the race because he is working in Montserrado County and his grassroots support is a testament to his popularity.
“If you look at our work across the county, we have outpaced very easily everybody else. We’ve impacted more lives than anybody else can point to. Our support is really grassroots, it’s really from the people,” Sirleaf said.
Sirleaf also brushed aside reports of alleged threats of campaign violence, saying his campaign message is positive.