News / Africa

Liberian President Sirleaf Beatable in 2011, Says an Opposition Figure

Charles Brumskine of the Liberty Party says the president is less popular with Liberians and can be beaten if elections are free and fair

Multimedia

Audio
  • Liberian opposition leader Brumskine spoke with Butty

James Butty

A Liberian opposition leader said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would be easily beatable if the 2011 presidential elections are free and fair.

Charles Brumskine, who came third in the 2005 election, said President Sirleaf has failed to reconcile the Liberian people and build the necessary institutions to sustain the country’s fledgling democracy.

Brumskine, who was in Washington recently said he and his Liberty Party have since 2005 been laying the groundwork for a re-match with President Sirleaf.

Charles Brumskine of Liberia
Charles Brumskine of Liberia

“After losing the elections in 2005, I did not leave the country. I remained in Monrovia, in Liberia. I worked with the people consistently serving as an alternative voice and constructively engaging the government. We have continued our scholarship for young people who otherwise would not have been able to go to school. I believe our presence has been appreciated because we have kept the government in check, reminding the government of its constitutional responsibility,” he said.

Brumskine said he will be announcing his candidacy within a couple of months.

“With regards to the funding, we will not compete with the government or the government’s party dollar for dollar. Our aim is to be viable and visible throughout the country,” Brumskine said.

He said once he has announced his candidacy, his campaign will be about issues and explaining his party’s vision to the Liberian people.

“Liberty Party vision is based on what we call the Four Rs – Reconciliation, Reform, Recovery, and Rebuilding. We realize that if we are to move our country forward we have to reconcile as a people. This is something that the current government has been unable to do. President Sirleaf has been unable to reconcile our people,” Brumskine said.

Brumskin said until the government can reconcile the people and reform the institutions of government that will sustain democracy, the country could again be on the path of self-destruction.

He admits it is not going to be easy to unseat president Sirleaf, and he said opposition parties were in the process of repositioning themselves.

“I think not only Liberty Party, but I believe at this point it is obvious that all opposition parties are repositioning themselves. We are trying to form opposition blocs; we are hoping that at the end of the day we can all come together and have a single candidate to oppose the president. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe President is popular with the people; I don’t believe she can win re-election. But because she is an incumbent president in Africa, her influence over the process and the tone of money that she will have, most of it from corrupt sources, she will not be under-estimated,” he said.

Brumskine agreed it has been difficult in the past for Liberian opposition parties to form alliances.

He said his Liberty Party is willing to enter into an alliance with other parties once the rules of the game have been decided.

Brumskine said he’s open to having an American-style open primary for selecting a standard bearer for the coalition.

He said Liberia’s brutal 14-year civil war was the result of a society that was based on exclusion and one in which justice was not meted out fairly.

Brumskine said little has changed under the Sirleaf government where senior government officials or those with relationship with the president and accused of corruption are often let go while the little people are often prosecuted.

He, however, credited President Sirleaf for connecting Liberia to the rest of the international community.

“For the first time probably in the history of our country we haven’t had so much goodwill directed to our country, and you must give Ellen the credit for being the first female (elected) president,” he said.

But Brumskine said there is still a need for Liberians to change the current leadership because President Sirleaf has failed to manage corruption and has gone absence in bringing economic recovery to the country.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs