News / Africa

Liberian President, Carter Center Say Boycotted Vote Was Fair

A Liberian man exits a polling booth for the presidential election run-off at Klay town just outside the capital Monrovia, November 8, 2011
A Liberian man exits a polling booth for the presidential election run-off at Klay town just outside the capital Monrovia, November 8, 2011

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says an opposition boycott of Tuesday's run-off election will not undermine the legitimacy of her second term.  Partial election results released Thursday show the president holds a huge lead and is assured of victory.  Election observers from the U.S.-based Carter Center say the vote was largely free and fair.

President Sirleaf says that low voter turnout for the run-off does not affect the vote's legality.

“The process is totally legitimate as it meets the requirements of our constitution," she said.

Speaking to reporters Thursday at Monrovia's Foreign Ministry, the president said she is not concerned by opposition claims that the large numbers of voters who stayed away from the polls weaken her mandate.

“The numbers themselves will give us a mandate," Sirleaf said. "And I think what we do to bring the Liberian people together will strengthen that mandate.”

The opposition Congress for Democratic Change party boycotted Tuesday's vote because they say electoral commission workers stuffed ballot boxes and changed vote totals in last month's first round of balloting to give President Sirleaf the lead.  

The president says if she wanted to steal the election, she would have won outright in the first round instead of having to go to a run-off.

“It's so common for somebody to call fraud when you don't win," she said. "And that is what has happened.  We are satisfied.  There has been no fraud.  That has been confirmed by all our donor partners.  They are interested in the transparency and free and fairness of this election because they financed it.  And they are not going to put up their money to have fraud.”

In its preliminary report on the election, observers from the Carter Center say it was conducted in “general accordance with Liberia's legal framework and its international obligations for democratic elections.”

The observer mission's leader, the former Nigerian head of state Yakubu Gowon, says the opposition party's claims of fraud are without foundation.

“The CDC's decision to boycott the run-off was based on their unsubstantiated assertion that the first round was significantly flawed," said Gowon. "The boycott denied the Liberian people a genuine choice within a competitive process.”

The CDC's presidential candidate, former Justice Minister Winston Tubman, has said he will not accept the results from this vote, which are certain to re-elect the president because of his party's boycott.

Tubman's running mate, the former football star George Weah, says he has no confidence in Carter Center observers because he says they wrongly rejected his claims of vote fraud in the last presidential election.

“2005 the same Carter Center told us, 'Accept any results.'  In 2005 they said it was free and fair," said Weah. "And we brought all of the tally sheets, all of the same evidence we had.  They said, 'Yes. It is there.  But it is not enough to override the decision.  So no matter what we say here, we will only be repeating ourselves.”

Weah says election observers have let down Liberian voters by helping legitimize what he calls President Sirleaf's “fraudulent victory.”

“One day the Carter Center maybe will go for retirement, and we will have another center that believes in democracy and independence and they will speak the truth," he said. "So we are hoping for that.  I hope that day will come.”

At least two opposition members were killed Monday in a demonstration that was broken up by riot police firing tear gas and live ammunition.  Three opposition radio stations were closed following that violence, including one owned by Weah.

President Sirleaf says the radio stations were closed because they were broadcasting messages of hate.  She says she regrets the loss of life in Monday's demonstration and the incident will be investigated.

You May Like

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop illegal money flow from continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development 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.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid