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

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora