News / Africa

Incumbent Liberian President Leading in Early Returns

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also Liberia's president and presidential candidate of the Unity Party, votes at a polling station in Feefee in Bomi County, Liberia, October 11, 2011.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also Liberia's president and presidential candidate of the Unity Party, votes at a polling station in Feefee in Bomi County, Liberia, October 11, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

First results from Liberia's presidential election show incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf leading her 15 rivals.

Reporting results from just over 16 percent of more than 4,000 polling stations, Liberia's National Electoral Commission says President Sirleaf has more than 44 percent of the vote. Former justice minister Winston Tubman has more than 26 percent, while former rebel leader and current Senator Prince Johnson is running third with about 13 percent.

Vote counting is expected to continue through the weekend, and complete results may not be known for some time as the electoral commission has until October 26 to make a final count.  If none of the candidates wins an outright majority, there will be a run-off election between the top two finishers November 8.

This is Liberia's second post-civil war election but the first that has been run entirely by Liberians after the United Nations supervised the 2005 contest.  U.N. peacekeepers remain in place for this vote, but U.N. mission spokesperson Yasmina Bouziane says the election itself is up to Liberians to decide.

"The National Electoral Commission is the one that is responsible for the conduct of these elections, implementation and all," said Bouziane.  "And they are the ones who will verify and certify.  Nobody else has the mandate to verify or certify.  And the United Nations does not either, neither do the observers."

Election observers from the Economic Community of West African States say the vote was largely free, fair and devoid of violence.  In its preliminary report, the ECOWAS observer mission says "on the whole, the elections were conducted under acceptable conditions of freedom of voters and transparency of the process."

The regional alliance noted high voter turnout, a timely start to polling, and the professional conduct of electoral officials.

Its preliminary report also highlighted a smooth process of vote counting and the "effective and unobtrusive presence of law enforcement" at most polling stations.

Electoral shortcomings identified by ECOWAS observers include insufficient voter education and the slow pace of voting at some polling stations with a large number of registered voters.

Election observers from the Carter Center say the vote was "peaceful, orderly, and remarkably transparent" calling it "a positive sign of Liberians' commitment to democratic development."

"Poll workers performed very well, conducting themselves in a tireless, impartial and professional manner.  The credibility and transparency of the voting and counting processes was greatly enhanced by the presence of party agents, in particular the widespread presence of agents from the two main parties in all counties," noted former Nigerian ruler Yakubu Gowon who headed The Carter Center mission to Liberia.

Electoral irregularities noted by the Carter Center include polling places where the secrecy of the ballot was not strictly maintained and where some ballot papers were folded improperly.  But the group says none of those procedural miscues were significant enough to affect the overall integrity of the vote.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid