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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid