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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs