News / Africa

US-Based Professor Denies Role in Pre-Liberian Election Projections

Larry Gibson of the University of Maryland says he has not been to Liberia since 2009 and could not have done such analysis

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

The American professor at the center of what is becoming a pre-election scandal in Liberia says he played no role in preparing a pre-election analysis for the ruling Unity Party of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

US-Based Professor Denies Role in Pre-Liberian Election Projections
US-Based Professor Denies Role in Pre-Liberian Election Projections

The Online Liberian publication FrontPage Africa reported over the weekend that Larry Gibson, a law professor at the University of Maryland prepared a pre-election analysis in which he advised the ruling party that it faces a tall order in the coming October elections and that the party should keep its connections at the National Elections Commission.

Gibson, who admits he did some work for the 2005 election campaign of then-candidate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said he did not do any poll analysis for the October election.

“This report is fascinating and totally fictitious. I paid no attention to Liberian politics for several years. Other than the fact that President Sirleaf is running for re-election, I can’t even tell who the other candidates are or exactly when the election is. So, I prepared no poll, no analysis, [and] no report. I haven’t been in Liberia since 2009,” he said.

Unity Party National Chairman Varney Sherman told VOA Monday that it was his understanding that Gibson might have sent the first round election analysis to Elva Richardson, executive assistant to President Sirleaf, although Sherman said Richardson told party officials she never received any such information.

An e-mail purported to be from Gibson to Richardson reads: “Elva, please give this attached analysis to the president, as we discussed. I have also sent a copy to Robert Sirleaf [the president’s son] and Amara Konneh [planning minister]."

Gibson said he sent no such poll analysis to Richardson or anyone else.

“Mr. Sherman’s statement is also not true. I sent no report to Ms. Richardson or anyone else with the party. The last I knew of Mr. Sherman he was a candidate against Ms. Sirleaf. So, his report is also inaccurate,” Gibson said.

He said perhaps another Larry Gibson might have sent the alleged pre-election poll analysis.

The University of Maryland Law School website said Gibson “has served as a campaign consultant and political advisor to African political leaders, including Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, and Marc Ravalomanana, the former President of Madagascar.”

Gibson admits he did some work for then candidate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s campaign in 2005.

“As reported in her book, and I think fairly accurately, in her first election, I did provide some assistance and certainly some advice to her campaign, and her autobiography is quite accurate as to the extent of my advice in her initial election,” Gibson said.

He said since 2005, he has paid no attention to Liberian politics, and that he has not been to Liberia since 2009.

The ruling Unity Party National Chairman Varney Sherman told VOA Monday that Gibson might have returned to Liberia early 2011 or late 2010 during which time he offered his services, but Sherman said President Sirleaf rejected the offer.

Gibson said he was never in Liberia during 2010 or 2011.

“I understand from your report that Mr. Sherman said that I came there in 2011 or 2010 which is absolutely not true. I was not in Liberia 2010, 2011; I conducted no analysis; I sent no report. And so, obviously they got the wrong Larry,” Gibson said.

FrontPage Africa quoted part of the purported pre-election poll analysis this way: “We have to ensure that we get Prince Johnson, Dew Mayson and others on UP [Unity Party] side during the second round. We’ve crunched the numbers for the Liberty Party [of Charles Brumskine] and CDC [of George Weah]; they looked strong in first and second. If UP can meet the ‘Most Likely Case,’ we could be in second round. But risk everything if we are in the worst case scenario, as Liberty and CDC could also trump UP and UP will not make it to second round. This election will be a ‘tall order’ and we should not take any chances. We have to keep our connections at NEC [National Election Commission]."

While Gibson and the ruling Unity Party deny the existence of any pre-election analysis and projections, observers note that some of the parties mentioned above like Prince Johnson’s National Union for Democratic Progress Party and Dew Mayson’s National Democratic Coalition are already said to be having problems within their ranks.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid