News / Africa

    Liberia Sets Voter Registration for 2011 Presidential Election

    Liberia is scheduling voter registration ahead of next year's presidential election. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is running for re-election and is expected to face a repeat of her 2005 challenge from former FIFA World Footballer of the Year George Weah.

    Liberian Electoral Commission Chairman James Fromoyan says voter registration, or V.R., is the first indicator of how prepared Liberians are for next year's election.

    "A successful V.R. is crucial because it will be a mirror through which the rest of the electoral process will be gauged. It will be transparent, simple, easily-accessible, and scrupulously carried out so as to avoid the inclusion of foreigners and minors," he said.

    Fromoyan says it is up to Liberians to actively take part in this registration so the resulting voter rolls will be accepted by everyone.

    "The only way this can be achieved is for all Liberians at 18 years or above to participate from January 10 to February 6, 2011 to claim a collective ownership," he said. "When this is done, we all will be proud of the final registration roll that represents the wishes of eligible voters."

    Launching her re-election bid, President Sirleaf said she will be a "formidable candidate." Since 2005, her Unity Party has formed an alliance with the All Coalition Party of Liberia. In a repeat of the 2005 vote, she is expected to face a challenge from George Weah. His Congress for Democratic Change party is part of a coalition that includes former president Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Party.

    There are several significant changes from the 2005 vote, most notably the disenfranchisement of Liberians outside the country.

    "Since 2005, many Liberians have returned to this country. And our law does not allow people in the diaspora outside the country to register," said Bobby Livingstone, the Electoral Commission's communications director. "If you want to register to be included in what we call the final registration roll, or the FRR, you must be at home."

    Voter Mariama Massaquoi says four weeks of voter registration are not enough.

    "The time is very, very short. My own wish is for more time to be added because it is not easy. The weather is poor," Massaquoi said. "Most people do not even know whether there is an election coming up at this time."

    Voter Robert Vesay, Jr. says it is a good start to the electoral process but agrees the timetable for voter registration should be extended to two or three months. "I feel that the time will be short for the process because Liberia is not only Monrovia. We have got other people outside of Monrovia in the counties," he said. "And when you look at road conditions in the rural counties, to get them may be difficult."

    Voter Aldous Philip Bunow worries about how the electoral commission will prevent foreigners from registering to vote.

    "When you look in the streets, most of these motorcyclists they are not Liberians. But if you ask them, they say, 'I am a Liberian. I am a Liberian.' So that is my worry," he admitted.

    The electoral commission says it understands the need to ensure that only Liberians register for this vote, especially with so many people from Sierra Leone living in Liberia. Conversely, Liberians living in Sierra Leone are petitioning the electoral commission to allow them to register to vote outside the country, much as Guinea allowed Guineans living in Sierra Leone to take part in this year's presidential vote to end military rule.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora