Earlier this week, opposition leader Charles Brumskine criticized President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf?s 2006-2007 budget in an interview with VOA. Brumskine, head of the Liberty Party, says the president?s budget lacks accountability. His statements have been provoking strong reactions from Liberians, including some living overseas.

From the United States, Billie-Jane Duncan writes that Brumskine has nothing constructive to offer Liberia. 

Michael Nagbe, from Norway, writes that he agrees with Brumskine?s criticism of President Sirleaf; he says no one should be above the law. 

VOA English to Africa Service reporter James Butty received a call from Liberia?s finance minister, Antoinette Sayeh, who requested an opportunity to respond to Brumskine?s criticism.

?I just wanted to say that first of all, we very much, at the end of the first quarter in the course of the fiscal year, issued a report explaining exactly what had transpired in the first quarter of the new administration?s tenure in office, something that has never been done before. We had to, of course, balance in the course of trying to finalizing the budget and getting it to the legislature before the fiscal year ended?. So the fact that we didn?t produce a final report before transmitting the budget is really a non-issue. Very few countries are in a position to present a detailed fiscal report six weeks after the fiscal year ends. So we are making very good effort for the first time in Liberia to make information available to the public and for the first time to get a budget sent to the legislature before a fiscal years ends, and I think that is progress.?

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