News / Africa

Vote Counting Underway in Liberia

Election workers count presidential ballots by lamplight at a polling station in the West Point neighborhood of Monrovia, Liberia Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011
Election workers count presidential ballots by lamplight at a polling station in the West Point neighborhood of Monrovia, Liberia Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011

Vote counting is under way in Liberia's presidential run-off with incumbent Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf poised to win re-election following an opposition boycott over allegations of vote fraud. Three opposition radio stations remain off the air because the government says they threaten public safety.

Ballots are being counted across Liberia with the first results expected Thursday. But there is little doubt about the outcome as opposition candidate Winston Tubman dropped out of the race after accusing the electoral commission of fraud.

Voter turnout for Tuesday's run-off was low. Unofficial tallies by several observer groups say it could be as small as 25 percent. In comparison, more than 70 percent of registered voters took part in last month's first round of balloting.

Sirleaf supporters say many people stayed home because the opposition boycott ensured her victory. Tubman supporters say the low turnout undermines the credibility of a second term.

Tubman's running mate in the opposition CDC party - former football star George Weah - describes those who refused to vote Tuesday as true Liberians fighting for democracy.

"The turnout was poor. It shows that the major political party was out of the race, that's why you had the poor turn-out," said Weah. "CDC has the numbers. And when those numbers were pulled back, you are going to see the gap that you saw yesterday.”

In an interview with VOA, Weah said his party will remain resolute and peaceful.

“The election is over. Tomorrow they are going to announce Ellen Johnson as president. So what happens?" Weah asked. "Are we not Liberians?  We are still Liberians. We are going to move around freely and peacefully, but they need to protect all of us.”

United Nations peacekeepers remain outside CDC headquarters where at least two people were killed Monday in running battles between stone-throwing opposition supporters and riot police firing tear gas and live ammunition.

George Weah, a former soccer star and the running mate of presidential candidate Winston Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), stands at the balcony after a news conference at his headquarters in Monrovia, November 5, 2011
George Weah, a former soccer star and the running mate of presidential candidate Winston Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), stands at the balcony after a news conference at his headquarters in Monrovia, November 5, 2011

Weah says all Liberians appreciate U.S. President Barack Obama's call on Liberian authorities to allow peaceful protest.

"I listened to President Obama in Ghana [in 2009]. He said Africa doesn't need strong leaders. They  need good leaders," Weah said. "It is the time for the young people to take the mandate to lead. This is what the young people are doing. These are the messages we are listening to that inspire us to move forward, that inspire us to bring about democracy, that inspire us to bring about peace, that inspire us to stand to serve our country.”

Following Monday's violence, police closed three opposition radio stations, including Kings FM which is owned by Weah.

Deputy information minister Norris Tweah told VOA the justice ministry ordered those stations closed because the violence “provoked and necessitated” such action as “the state of the nation was at stake.”

The New-York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says it is outraged by the Sirleaf administration shutting down what it calls “essential voices for the opposition.”  The media rights group called on the government in Monrovia to withdraw the complaint and allow those stations to resume broadcasts immediately.

The court order calls managers of the three stations to a hearing Thursday, at which a judge will decide whether to uphold or rescind the broadcast suspensions.

You May Like

Multimedia Ferguson, Missouri Streets Calm After Days of Violence

Police official says authorities responded to fewer incidents, noting there were no shootings, Molotov cocktails or fires More

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

For Chanthy Sok, rap infused with Cambodian melodies is a way to pay respect to the survivors of the victims of Khmer Rouge genocide More

Study: Our Life with Neanderthals Was No Brief Affair

Scientists discover thousands of years of overlap between modern humans and their shorter, stockier cousins 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid