News / Africa

In Liberia, Sen. Johnson Could Play Kingmaker

Staff organize ballot boxes from polling stations in Monrovia, Liberia, Oct. 12, 2011.
Staff organize ballot boxes from polling stations in Monrovia, Liberia, Oct. 12, 2011.

Preliminary results from Liberia's presidential election indicate a possible second-round runoff between incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former justice minister Winston Tubman.

Second-round runoffs often focus on third-place finishers whose endorsement of either leading candidate could be enough to tilt the electoral majority in their favor. Earlier this year in Ivory Coast, for example, Henri Konan Bedie supported an ultimately triumphant Alassane Ouattara.

In Liberia, that third place finisher is shaping up to be former rebel leader, Senator Prince Y. Johnson.

"We will be the kingmaker, and we will consult our leaders in Nimba, our partisans in Nimba, our people in Nimba and also our stakeholders in other parts of Liberia," Johnson says. "Our partisans, our officials of the party we will meet and consult with them and come up with a decision as to which area we should put our vote because we cannot do it just randomly."

Johnson explains that he will be seeking a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the Sirleaf and Tubman camps about his prospective role in the new government.

"It requires coming up with an MOU that will show clearly a government of inclusion," he says. "What will be our role in a new political order? So when those are discussed and concluded, we will know where to put our vote."

Caroy Sonpon, a Johnson supporter, believes Johnson should endorse Sirleaf because she is popular in the senator's home county of Nimba.

“It is just a political game," says Sonpon. "Somebody can change their mind at anytime, so I don't think Prince will want to destroy Ellen."

Melvin Nathans, who cast his vote for Tubman, believes Johnson will back his candidate.

"When it comes to the friendship between Prince Johnson and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, it is not too close," he says. "The two of them are not friendly to the extent that he will be ready to give his vote to her. In my belief, Prince Johnson is eligible to give his vote to Winston Tubman. Yes."

Tubman supporter Paul Lone, however, says Congress for Democratic Change, or the CDC party, offers Johnson greater opportunities in a new government because the ruling Unity Party is already full of former adversaries who are owed political patronage.

"Some political leaders have been helping the ruling party, and I don't think Prince Johnson could really give his vote to the ruling Unity Party," says Lone. "He most likely will give it to CDC because that will be a government of inclusion right there. So I prefer that."

But a different Tubman supporter, Jerry Kerkulah, believes Johnson will end up throwing in with Sirleaf.

"I am really sure that Prince Johnson will give his vote to Ellen, [and] it will not be a good thing but I know him too well," he says.

Neither Sirleaf nor Tubman have publicly discussed strategies for a potential second-round runoff. Both campaigns say their respective candidates are focused on winning outright once final results from the initial vote are released by Oct. 26th.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid