News / Africa

Liberian Opposition Renews Boycott Threat

Presidential opposition candidate Winston Tubman speaks to supporters at a rally in Monrovia, Liberia, October 16, 2011.
Presidential opposition candidate Winston Tubman speaks to supporters at a rally in Monrovia, Liberia, October 16, 2011.

A top official in the party of Liberia's presidential challenger says the party may still boycott next week's run-off election.

Congress for Democratic Change spokesman George Solo said Tuesday his party continues to demand a new National Election Commission be formed and for new checks and balances to be implemented to ensure ballot boxes and voting papers are not tampered with.

The spokesman, who is also a deputy campaign manager, said they are still in negotiations and he said some of their demands are more critical than others.  But the party must be satisfied in order to participate in the presidential vote.

Solo's comments follow a news conference late Monday during which the CDC candidate, Winston Tubman, gave a very different message.

Tubman said he and his CDC party will take part in the run-off now that election commission chairman James Fromayan has resigned.

The CDC party accused the chairman of supporting incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Mrs. Sirleaf defeated Mr. Tubman in the first round of voting, 44 to 32 percent, short of the majority required for an outright victory.

Meanwhile, VOA's West Africa correspondent Scott Stearns reports that Charles Brumskine, who finished fourth in the first round of voting, has endorsed the incumbent president.  Brumskine's Liberty Party won 5.5 percent of the vote.

Mrs. Sirleaf earlier received the endorsement of third-place finisher and former rebel leader Prince Johnson, who won 12 percent of the vote.

Election observers said the first round of voting was generally free and fair.

This is Liberia's second presidential poll since the end of a civil war in 2003.  Mrs. Sirleaf won the last election in 2005, defeating George Weah, who is now Mr. Tubman's vice-presidential candidate.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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