News / Africa

Liberian Opposition Calls for Election Boycott

A Liberian child stands in front of an election poster for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the Liberian capital Monrovia, September 8, 2011.
A Liberian child stands in front of an election poster for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the Liberian capital Monrovia, September 8, 2011.

In Liberia, Monday is a day of reflection for voters ahead of Tuesday's presidential run-off vote between incumbent Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the former justice minister Winston Tubman. Tubman is calling on supporters to boycott the vote because of what he says is electoral fraud.

President Sirleaf says this vote is about a generation of Liberian children whose sleep and schooling have never been interrupted by gunfire. In a country still recovering from 14 years of civil war, she says that future is imperiled by an opposition boycott.

“We must cherish this peace," Sirleaf said.  "We must nurture it and ensure that our path is irreversible.  Mr. Winston Tubman has called on Liberians to give up their franchise, their right to vote.”

President Sirleaf says Tubman's boycott violates the constitution, ignoring the fundamental laws that Liberians have agreed to uphold.  Tubman says the president is misleading voters and distorting the constitution because people have the right not to vote.

!--IMAGE-LEFT-->

“There is nothing in our laws that compel Liberians to vote.  They have the freedom to vote or not to vote.  And to call upon them to vote or not to vote is no violation at all,” Tubman said.

Voters weigh in

So what do voters think about an election that is no longer a choice between two candidates and is more a choice between voting and staying home?

Bobby Gibson, a member of Tubman's party, says President Sirleaf is deceiving herself if she thinks Tuesday's vote will have any legitimacy.

“What will happen on Tuesday is that it will just be a merrymaking for Madame Sirleaf and her agents because they will just be going there, marching there to go and vote for themselves," Gibson said.  "But we will not be going there to vote for our candidate because we know that the process is not going to be transparent.”

Tubman supporter Leena Seah says she is not voting because the president broke her promise not to seek a second term.

“I am not voting.  Ellen's one is now finished," Seah said.  "We want for Ellen to step down because the one term has past.  So now now I am not voting."

Undecided

Vestor Bestman is a member of Tubman's party who admires President Sirleaf, but has not yet decided whether he will go to vote.

“A county coming from 14 years of civil war you don't expect to live on a silver platter.  We have to pass through stress and strains.  So she did well.  She is doing well.  She touched the health sectors.  She touched the education sectors. She touched the developmental sectors," Bestman noted.  "I must commend her for what she did.  I must applaud her and give her that respect.  I wish she could sit another term.  Then we could see how best our country will go forward.”

Sirleaf supporter Amelia Jones says the president has made remarkable progress in rebuilding Liberian infrastructure so soon after the end of fighting.  Jones says Tubman's CDC party has given up because they know they will lose.

“She made the country to be in peace.  She filled roads, water, current, and she made us to sleep sound.  CDC, to me, they gave up.  They can't make it.  We don't want him," Jones said.

The opposition boycott ensures the president's re-election. The question now is one of turn-out. The president's campaign is hoping for numbers that approach the more than 70 percent of voters who took part in last month's first round. The opposition says low turn out will undermine the legitimacy of her mandate and call attention to their claims of electoral fraud.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid counter-terror intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid