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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid