Liberian president’s son cites disagreements

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Robert Sirleaf, the son of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who resigned as chairman of the state oil company this week, says his mother never heeded the advice he gave while serving in government.

Speaking to a call-in radio program Wednesday, Robert Sirleaf said he “did a lot of advising, but those advices were never taken” by his mother. He declined to name the specific issues on which they disagreed, but said his mother had ignored his counsel “from day one.”

He said, however, that the main reason he quit was because his work was “completed,” echoing a public statement issued by the president on Tuesday.

His work included ensuring there was “full reform of the oil sector” and completing two laws that could be presented to the legislature, according to the president’s statement. One law governs the oil company itself while the other governs production and exploration. The Senate passed the laws on Sept. 10, but the House of Representatives on Friday voted to suspend debate until members return from break in January.

President Sirleaf, in power since 2006, had three sons serving in top government posts prior to the resignation of Robert Sirleaf, who doubled as a senior presidential adviser. She has repeatedly denied allegations of nepotism, describing her sons as qualified.

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