President Weah’s inauguration last year.

The president of Liberia, George Weah, has defended his first year in office despite growing economic hardships and high cost of living.

Weak, who won the presidential election on a pro-poor platform, rejected opposition criticism that he had not lived up to his ambitious plan.

He said Liberia has made gains in his first year in office citing the land rights acts he signed into law.

“Today, I can state with understandable pride that we did not disappoint our people, neither did we fail them.

“With the support from our two other branches of government and our international partners during the course of this first year in office I can confidently say that Liberia is far better today under our leadership than it was 12 months ago when we were entrusted with the mandate to serve our people.”

Amid cheers from supporters, the former footballer-turned politician said, contrary to his critics, that he had not been distracted in serving the people. He vowed to continue his fight against poverty in the country.

“If you speak negative of this country, you are doing harm to your own self.”

Weah has come under enormous criticism lately from the opposition and church leaders because of the poor state of the economy.

He has also been accused of putting his personal business interests before affairs of state.

Weah addressed the controversy surrounding $104m (£79m) of newly printed bank notes that allegedly vanished from containers in Monrovia’s port and airport in March, two months after he came to office.

He said that an investigative team looking into the matter would release a report at the end of February.

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