MONROVIA – Contrary to his previous call to members and supporters of his party, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), to recalibrate and contest the country’s presidency when elections are held six years from now, outgoing President George Weah has declared that he will not be running for president in 2029.
In his concession speech broadcast on state radio, when he was defeated by former VP Joe Boakai in last year’s runoff election, Weah told partisans of the CDC that the party is a young movement, whose time for national leadership would come again, urging that they embark upon what he called a reflection of the journey and plan of the CDC for its return to political leadership in 2029.
But over the weekend, at his Forkay Kloh Jlaleh Family Fellowship church, President Weah announced that he will not contest the presidency in 2029, indicating that he would have been at his peak of retirement when elections are held six years from now.
Weah, who is 57, stated that in 2029, he will be 63, two years shy of his retirement, noting that he would neither want to serve for just two years before he retires nor would he want to keep being in politics until he’s very old at age 75 or 90.
The outgoing president disclosed that when he retires from politics, the best he wants to do is to continue promoting peace and prosperity for Liberia.
In an apparent reply to CDC officials, who are wooing the retired footballer to give the presidency another shot, Weah stated: “So, you’re not going to drag me into politics until I reach 90 years or 75 years old.”
“I did not come to politics to hijack politics,” said Weah, who averred that his entry into politics was to play his part, inferring that in his opinion, it doesn’t matter whether he served for one term or not, he played his part well.
He disclosed that rather than coming to politics to overstay like others in their 80s who are still running behind politics, he sought the presidency to prove a point.
“And the only thing I wanted to prove is that people said that we are insignificant people, and I wanted to prove them wrong to say no, we are not insignificant,” he emphasized.
He told his critics and political rivals that he may not have the same opportunities they have, but every opportunity he gets, he will make use of same.
“So, people said I would never be president, only God knows, I became president,” Weah said, adding that amid his critics’ prediction that he would have not made any significant impact as president, his success story is visible.
“If you look around Liberia, you can see that my fingerprint is everywhere,” Weah stated, amid thunderous applause from his audience.
He thanked Liberians for allowing him to ascend to the country’s highest office, indicating that it doesn’t matter whether he served just one term, “but that reality is that one term, I have broken undisputed record.”
He noted that his popularity and the love of the Liberian people for him will not make him believe that he can hold on to political power longer than it is necessary
“I will not do that. If you’re looking for me on that, trust me, I ain’t care how much vision your get on that, that vision can’t work, because myself will be praying to God for the vision not to work,” said Weah, who said after the job of a president, he needs time out with his family, and some time for himself as a private citizen as well.