News / Africa

Liberia Presidential Campaign Ends, Opposition Boycotting Vote

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attends a church service at the Dominion Christian Fellowship Center, in Monrovia, Liberia, November 6, 2011.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attends a church service at the Dominion Christian Fellowship Center, in Monrovia, Liberia, November 6, 2011.

As presidential campaigning ends in Liberia, the incumbent is calling for a high voter turnout in the face of an opposition boycott of Tuesday's run-off election.  

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf closed her re-election campaign asking supporters to turn out for the vote despite an opposition boycott.

“November 8 is coming," she said. "That is your constitutional right to vote. That is one thing that the law book gives you, for you to choose your leader in a democratic process.  Nobody must tell you what to do. That is your own heart that will show you how to vote.  Vote your heart because I know that if you vote your heart and look at the thing for a long time, you may say, 'Oh, I think that Ma Ellen can do the job, oh.'”

President Sirleaf is telling voters not to allow politicians to hold Liberia hostage, and not to succumb to what she calls “fear and intimidation.”

But her opponent, former justice minister Winston Tubman, says it is the president who is trying to intimidate opposition supporters by calling their planed boycott unconstitutional.  He says it is the right of all voters to vote or not vote as they wish.  

Tubman says the Congress for Democratic Change party will not take part in the run-off because it will not be fair.

“We call on all CDCians and well-meaning Liberians not to legitimatize the charade that is planned for November 8th," said Tubman. "Already, thousands of our partisans are responding to our calls.”

In its boycott, Tubman says party supporters must remain peaceful in just the second nationwide election since the end of Liberia's 14-year civil war.

“The eyes of the world are on our country," said Tubman. "And we in CDC must not use violence in any way. We will achieve more by being peaceful, law-abiding, and responsible. Therefore I call on all of our members to be totally peaceful in everything that we do.”

Tubman called for government security forces and United Nations peacekeepers to refrain from threatening and intimidating CDC members as they exercise their rights of assembly, association and speech.   

President Sirleaf says Tubman's actions show he is not ready to rule.

“This election is about a choice between hope and fear, between the unlimited potential our future holds and the ugly aspects of our past, a past where we were denied the right to vote,” she said.

The president says Tubman is falsely claiming fraud and as a reason to boycott. She says what he is really doing is forfeiting his right to the run-off because he fears defeat.

Tubman says he has no choice but to boycott the poll because electoral officials have not properly investigated his party's allegations of vote fraud from the first round, including what he says were doctored tally sheets.

Electoral observers from the Carter Center and the Economic Community of West African States say the vote was largely free and fair.

The U.S. State Department says allegations of vote fraud are unsubstantiated, and Washington is “deeply disappointed” by the CDC decision to boycott Tuesday's run-off.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs