President George Weah has hit the ground running after taking his oath of office on January 22, 2018 as the 24th president of Liberia.
He has named five key cabinet portfolios including Foreign Affairs, Finance, Defence, Justice and Presidential Affairs.
Two “surprise” nominees are Sirleaf’s former army chief as Defence minister and another ally as Foreign Affairs chief.
The list included:
- Gbezohngar Findley, a former senator for Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Nathaniel McGill, a former chairman of the ruling party as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs
- Samuel Tweah as Minister for Finance and Development Planning
Charles Gibson – Minister for Justice
- Major-General Daniel Dee Ziankahn as Minister for Defence
Local media reports that the former Major-General will be subjected to a Senate approval before he can officially take up the post.
The new foreign affairs minister is also said to be an ally of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Reports indicate that his former boss had recommended him.
Candidate Weah run on the ticket of his party, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), he led in the first round in October 2017 but failed to secure an outright victory.
The election body, NEC Liberia, was cleared by the Supreme Court to run a run-off between Weah and former vice-president Joseph Boakai. This was after the third-place party contested the results.
The former world and African footballer of the year beat Boakai. The former ruling Unity Party has since expelled Sirleaf, blaming her for the party’s loss in the December 26 runoff polls. She has hinted that she will challenge the action.