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Liberian president slashes salary by 40%

Liberian president slashes salary by 40%
FILE - Joseph Boakai, then Vice-President of Liberia, addresses the 64th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters Friday, Sept. 25, 2009.   -  
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Liberian President Joseph Boakai has announced a 40% reduction in his annual salary, lowering it from $13,400 to $8,000 per year. This move comes in response to growing public scrutiny of government salaries and widespread discontent over the rising cost of living in Liberia.

President Boakai's office stated that he hopes this decision will set a precedent for "responsible governance" and show "solidarity" with the people of Liberia. This action is similar to that of his predecessor, George Weah, who also reduced his salary by 25%.

Reactions to the pay cut have been mixed. Some people praise the move, while others question its significance since the president still receives benefits such as a daily allowance and medical coverage.

Anderson D. Miamen from the Centre of Transparency and Accountability in Liberia called the pay cut "welcoming." He hopes the public will see where the deductions go and how they will be used to positively impact people's lives.

W. Lawrence Yealue II, who also advocates for government transparency, described the decision as "commendable" and emphasized that leadership should start from the top. He also hopes that President Boakai's benefits will be reviewed in the next budget.

President Boakai has also promised to empower Liberia's Civil Service Agency to ensure fair compensation for public servants. This pledge follows protests by lawmakers who, having not received their official cars, arrived at parliament in tricycles, known locally as keh-keh, a common mode of transport for many Liberians.

Since taking office in January after defeating Mr. Weah in a run-off election, President Boakai has focused on tackling corruption and financial mismanagement. He has declared his assets and ordered an audit of the presidential office, with results pending. Additionally, he has strengthened the General Auditing Commission and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission.

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