News / Africa

Former Rebel Leader Endorses Liberian Incumbent For President

Liberian warlord-turned-presidential candidate Prince Johnson campaigns in the village of Demeh in Bomi County, in the West African country September 14, 2011.
Liberian warlord-turned-presidential candidate Prince Johnson campaigns in the village of Demeh in Bomi County, in the West African country September 14, 2011.

In Liberia's presidential election, the third-place finisher has endorsed incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Tuesday. She will face former justice minister, Winston Tubman, in a run-off in November.

Former rebel leader Prince Johnson is not a traditional politician. Although grateful for his endorsement, the Sirleaf camp is not likely to use his actual announcement in a campaign commercial.

“Well, the thing is that, if you have two evils, you choose the lesser one. She is the lesser of two evils. And she has only six years to go. I would prefer six years to supporting anyone for 12 years,” Johnson said.

Senator Johnson has spoken publicly of using his third-place endorsement to gain positions in a new government. He acknowledges President Sirleaf has made no promises.

“Well, she hasn't offered anything, but what we are most interested in is power sharing," he explained. "What percent will be given to our people. We have to provide jobs. We have to be sure of the former combatants, the former soldiers."

So why did Johnson endorse President Sirleaf and not former justice minister Tubman, with whom he joined Saturday in denouncing election results and calling for a fresh vote?

The senator says it is because Tubman supporters wants him tried for war crimes.

“That camp doesn't reflect reconciliation. It is a camp of the southeasterners," Johnson said. "I don't see people from Nimba. I don't see people from Bong County. I don't see people from Cape Mount. Many of those in that camp have been advocating for war crime codes against us."

Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for war crimes charges against Johnson for his time atop a rebel group that captured and tortured the former president Samuel Doe.

Johnson says he did not endorse Tubman because Tubman's running mate, the former football star George Weah, refused to join a Johnson-led ticket because of his inclusion on the TRC list of war crimes.

“When I was in need of a vice standard bearer to work with me as we planned to run for the presidency we talked to George Weah, Ambassador Weah. He refused to be my second simply because I am on the TRC list. And he went to join Winston. He refused to join me,” noted Johnson.

President Sirleaf was also on the TRC list for helping to fund Charles Taylor rebels at the start of the conflict. The commission recommended that she be barred from politics for 30 years. The TRC report has been presented to parliament, where there has been no action.

In a nationwide address late Monday, President Sirleaf congratulated Liberian voters for discipline and tolerance. She thanked local religious leaders and international observers for calling on all political parties to refrain from acts that might threaten the peace.

“We condemn acts of violence and destruction and call upon all Liberians to refrain from violence and threats as we prepare to - once again - exercise our political franchise by voting in a run-off election which we are certain will be equally free, fair, and transparent,”  Sirleaf said.

President Sirleaf won 44 percent of the vote. Tubman carried just over 32 percent.  And Johnson won less than 12 percent.  So a Johnson endorsement might give the president  the majority she needs in a second round.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More