News / Africa

Confusion Ahead of Liberia's Presidential Run-Off

Presidential candidate Winston Tubman, right, with CDC running-mate George Weah, Montrovia, Oct. 7, 2011.
Presidential candidate Winston Tubman, right, with CDC running-mate George Weah, Montrovia, Oct. 7, 2011.

In Liberia, there is confusion ahead of Tuesday's presidential run-off election because the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party appears unable to decide whether it is boycotting the vote.

CDC candidate, former justice minister Winston Tubman, had called the first round of voting fraudulent, threatening to boycott the run-off against the incumbent, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, if the head of the electoral commission did not step down.

The head of the commission resigned Sunday, and on Monday Tubman told supporters the race was on.

"Our posture is yes, we will be in the run-off," he said. "And so you can tell the Liberian people and the world that there is no question, nor was there ever a question, that CDC will boycott the process."

But CDC party leaders continue to drop hints about a possible boycott. Party secretary-general Acarous Gray said on Thursday that the candidate is still in consultations with supporters and has not yet decided whether to take part in the run-off.

CDC party spokesman George Solo says party leaders are confident of victory, but only if the vote is fair.

"We are afraid of no one," said Solo. "We have the numerical strength [and] we stand ready and able to prove the will of the Liberian people. What we want is a fair chance."

Gray says the party has pulled out of presidential and vice presidential debates scheduled for Thursday at Monrovia's city hall.

'No time for complacency'

On the campaign trail, President Sirleaf says Tubman is trying to confuse voters by pretending to boycott while actively campaigning behind the scenes.

"Don't let anybody scare you and say we are not [doing] something. Everybody is campaigning," she said. "They say they are not campaigning but they are campaigning, and we want them to campaign because that is their right, and we want everybody to vote because that is your constitutional right. Don't let anybody deny you."

Because Tubman has had no public rallies amid uncertainty over his participation in Tuesday's run-off, the president appears to be campaigning in something of a vacuum, causing concern among campaign officials that the president's supporters may not turn out to vote if they think she has already won.

Emphasizing that there is no time for complacency, she asked a group of voters at the Duazon public school outside the capital for a second term to finish the work she has started.

"Now is time to think about the future," she said. "You have to now do the right thing for your country because you want to make sure that we continue to build the schools and the clinics."

President Sirleaf enters the run-off with the backing of both the third- and fourth-place finishers from last month's initial round of voting. She finished first in that round with 44 percent of the vote, while Tubman was second with 33 percent.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid