17 January Press Briefing Notes

Monday, 17th January 2011

Colleagues of the media:

Welcome to the weekly Executive Mansion press briefing. This week is a special week of the year and there are several points which I would like to bring to your attention.

Exactly one week from now, the President will deliver her Annual Message to the National Legislature. The message is a constitutional requirement, but the President will be addressing the whole nation as well. As ever, it will be an opportunity for national unity and reflection, to think about the past but especially the future.

This yearís message will be special for several reasons. It comes on the fifth anniversary of the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as President of the Republic and is the final Annual Message of this Presidential term. The year 2011 will be historic for Liberia. We have seen five years of stability and growth, and the country will hold the first free and fair follow-up election for a generation, demonstrating the strength of our democracy.

The President will use the message to lay out her vision for Liberiaís future, how the progress and freedom of the last five years will be turned into prosperity for every Liberian. She also believes that this is a time for the whole nation to join together to reflect and consider how far Liberia has come on its journey in recent years. Over the course of the next weeks, there is an opportunity to remind ourselves of how much has changed thanks to the determination and strength of the Liberian people.

During this week and next the President will be taking stock of progress in a number of government projects which are vital to Liberiaís progress.

On Tuesday 18 January, she will travel to several communities, including Clara Town, Logan Town, Paynesville and Caldwell, to view the road reconstruction projects undertaken by the Ministry of Public Works which aim to increase the freedom of movement of vehicles and people. She will also visit the asphalt plant on GSA Road to see the production of asphalt in operation.

In other activities, you are reminded that the President travelled to Fefeh Town in Bomi County on Saturday 15 January to complete her registration as a voter for the 2011 General and Presidential Elections. She was taken through the registration procedures by officials, and remarked that the process was completed in a smooth and professional way. She once again urged local residents and all Liberians to ensure that they registered to vote by the deadline of February 6 so that all eligible voters could exercise their democratic choice.