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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
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.
AppleAndroid