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

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, but they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing

This forum has been closed.
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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs