News / Africa

Liberian President's Re-election Bid Draws Mixed Reactions

Multimedia

Audio

In Liberia, there are mixed reactions to this week's announcement by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf that she will run for re-election next year.  A draft report by the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission said President Sirleaf should be barred from seeking further political office for 30 years.

President Sirleaf ended the speculation this week by announcing that she intends to be a "formidable" candidate in Liberia's 2011 election.

Junior Minister Issac Jackson says Liberians trust her leadership.

"The vast majority of people in this country are saying that Madame Sirleaf is conducting the affairs of the state properly, that today you speak of reconstruction of roads," he said

Jackson says supporters petitioned President Sirleaf to run again because she is best qualified to continue Liberia's reconciliation and reconstruction.

"Are you saying that the president should turn down that petition because of some personal agenda that she is not going to run?  I think no," he added.

A draft report from Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission last year said President Sirleaf should be banned from public office for 30 years because of her early support for former rebel leader Charles Taylor.

She admits to giving him money, but testified that she was misled into supporting Mr. Taylor and ended that support when she learned of the human-rights abuses in his campaign against then-president Samuel Doe.

While the ban on President Sirleaf was not included in the commission's final report, it is still before parliament.

Human-rights activist Adama Demster says her decision to run again undercuts the commission's work.

"By-passing the document to make a declaration, we feel that it is not in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the work they have done.  It should not just be overlooked and the people try to present themselves in another form," said Mr. Demster.

University student William Selmah says it is inappropriate for the president to announce her re-election campaign before the commission's work is complete.

"She is slapped with a 30-year ban through the TRC recommendation. While this recommendation is yet to be endorsed or rejected, the president has already said that she is seeking another term of office," he noted.

Selmah is also disappointed by the president breaking her promise to serve only one term.

"As a leader, you have to be someone of your word.  She said she would not seek a second term," he added.  "After getting a first term, she would turn over the mantle of leadership to a younger generation which she would have groomed by then. That was a broken promise, and those are statements that make people not take you serious the next time."

Opposition politician Darius Dillion has no problem with the president running again, and says it is time for her opponents to stand up to the challenge.

"It is her right to contest again," said Dillion.  "Her being in the race has brought even more added value and flavor.  It should be taken seriously so that those who call ourselves the opposition who want state power, we should meet the challenge."

In announcing her plans for re-election President Sirleaf did not mention the commission's proposed ban.  She did say not everyone agrees with its findings, but the body has made important recommendations.  The president says there must be a "conscious national determination to move ahead cautiously and strategically" in acting on its recommendations.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid