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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


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