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Liberia's Weah will struggle to stifle dissent

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Significance

The president’s utterances mark a shift from his previous calls for a roundtable dialogue with opposition protest leaders, who on June 7 organised the largest mass protest since the return to civilian democratic rule in 2005. Presenting a one-month ultimatum to the government, protesters have demanded judicial reforms, hastening of anti-graft measures and efforts to alleviate economic hardship.

Impacts

  • The high costs of policing the protests will prompt government criticism of the opposition given recent public sector budget cuts.
  • Weah’s government will face accusations of creeping authoritarianism after the cutting of internet services during the protest.
  • Additional demonstrations would likely prompt a spike in the price of basic foodstuffs, potentially undermining protest momentum.
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