Twenty-two candidates are competing to lead the executive branch of Liberia, which holds presidential and parliamentary elections on October 11th.
Kenneth Y. Best is the publisher and managing editor of the country’s oldest independent newspaper, The Daily Observer. He told English to Africa reporter William Eagle that four of the top five candidates have law degrees or experience with the United Nations, including Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the United Party; Varney Sherman of Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia (COTOL); Charles Brumskine of the Liberty Party; and Winston Tubman of the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL). The candidate of the National Patriotic Party, Roland Massaquoi, has a PhD in Agriculture. One of the strongest candidates, football player George Weah, does not have a university background, but says his love for Liberia and his popularity can help unite the country.
Mr. Best says all candidates will have to use their skills to help Liberia recover from years of civil war by helping to restore basic social services such as safe drink water, electricity, education, health care, and an improved road network. They will also have to find a way to jump-start the economy.