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

    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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora