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

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs