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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Thursday 24 October 2019

Tide turns against George Weah

Thousands of Liberians took to the streets of Monrovia on Friday to protest against the corruption and economic decline that many blame on their once hugely popular President George Weah. In stark contrast to the wild celebrations that greeted Weah’s election victory in 2017, throngs of chanting demonstrators bearing signs calling Weah a ‘traitor’ gathered near the President’s official residence. A report on the France24 site notes that their main gripes are a stagnant economy in which most still live in deep poverty and a scandal in which the country last year reportedly lost $100m in newly-printed bank notes destined for the central bank. BBC News reports that local media in September reported that shipping containers filled with newly printed Liberian dollars from Swedish banknote manufacturer Crane AB disappeared from Liberia's entry ports between 2016 and 2017. The Central Bank of Liberia denied the allegations and stated that the money was stored in vaults across the city. A petition delivered by the protest’s organisers to Justice Minister Frank Dean accused the administration of misusing public funds, violating press freedoms, and failing to adequately fund health and education programmes. It accuses Weah himself of constructing ‘scores of luxury homes’ after he declined to publicly declare his assets.