Liberia: Inauguration Day for the New President Joseph Boakai

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read

Joseph Boakai will be officially inaugurated as the President of Liberia on Monday, January 22. Succeeding George Weah, he assumes office for a six-year term after winning the tightly contested presidential election in October 2023, which marked the closest race in the country’s history.

The inauguration ceremony will take place at the Capitol, the seat of the government, with the participation of various dignitaries and heads of state, including the presidents of Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Boakai aims for a modest inauguration ceremony, reflecting his desire to establish a new presidential style.

In December, President Joseph Boakai expressed his preference for a simple ceremony. Instead of a grand stadium, as was the case with his predecessor George Weah, he chose Capitol Hill, the government headquarters, for the gathering of Liberians.

He stated, “Public funds, he said, will be better utilized to address Liberia’s challenges than for extravagant celebrations.” This decision underscores his commitment to lead by example. Since his victory, Boakai has prioritized the fight against corruption, and Liberians now eagerly anticipate his actions. However, observers note a sense of déjà vu, as George Weah made similar promises during his term but fell short of delivering them.

Boakai also faces the task of uniting a divided nation after one of its closest elections in history. Another pressing matter is the establishment of a war crimes tribunal. Liberia endured two civil wars, the first from December 24, 1989, to August 2, 1997, and the second from April 21, 1999, to August 18, 2003. The demand for a tribunal has persisted for twenty years, and while Boakai has pledged to create one, doubts arise due to his connections with former warlord Prince Johnson.

Lastly, Joseph Boakai has committed to presenting a report on his administration’s progress within the first 100 days—a crucial period according to observers, which will set the tone for his presidency’s trajectory. As Liberia enters this new chapter, the nation awaits tangible actions and results from President Boakai’s administration.

Soukaina Sghir

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