Liberia leader's son not ruling out his own presidential bid

AP News
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Posted: Apr 03, 2015 4:23 PM

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's son, who just suffered a defeat in Liberia's Senate elections, is not ruling out a run for his mother's job.

Robert Sirleaf lost a December election to George Weah, a former soccer star and current opposition leader. He was once a presidential adviser to his mother and chairman of the board of the national oil company. He is now focusing on the professional soccer team he founded.

During an impromptu interview with The Associated Press at the home field of his Barrack Young Controller team on Thursday, Robert Sirleaf wouldn't be pinned down about his plans.

"Whether that path involves me, it doesn't involve me, the ... decision maker is the Liberian people," he said.

His mother's presidential term ends in 2017, but speculation has already begun about his plans. Allegations of nepotism have long dogged the president, and a run by her son would likely be criticized as an attempt at a dynasty.

But Robert Sirleaf said he had no illusions about the post.

"I think a lot of people worldwide like the title, but don't truly understand the job description," he said, adding that the next president "better focus on the job description and not just the title."

Liberia has been devastated over the past year by an Ebola outbreak that has killed thousands of people, mostly in West Africa. But the country currently has no patients and is in a countdown to being declared free of the disease.