Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has nominated Counselor Jerome Kokoya as the next chairman of the country’s Elections Commission. But, the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) said Kokoya’ s nomination should be withdrawn because he is a member of the ruling Unity Party. CDC national chairman George Solo said his party will not participate in this year’s bi-election in Grand Bassa County if Sirleaf does not rescind the nomination of Kokoya. However, Kokoya said, while he once contested for a legislative seat on the ruling party’s ticket, it would not affect his role as election commission chairman. He said he’s legally qualified to be chairman.
Articles about voting issues in The Republic of Liberia.
West African Election Observers Network (WAEON) has decided to hold its next academy in Liberia in an effort at help strengthen civil society capacity to engage in post-election reform and development. This capacity building academy will take place beginning today to Friday at a local resort in Monrovia. The forum opens between 9am and 10am with remarks from the Liberian Democratic Institute (LDI), WAEON Chairman Mashood Erubami, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Gabriel Smith, Chairman of the Elections and Inauguration Committee, House of Representatives.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was confirmed the victor of a run-off poll boycotted by the opposition, and vowed to reach out to her opponents and reconcile the divided nation. Sirleaf’s re-election was seen as a foregone conclusion after rival Winston Tubman pulled out of the race and urged his supporters to boycott the polls over fears the process was rigged.
The National Elections Commission announced that with results tallied from 86.6 percent of polling stations, Sirleaf had won 90.8 percent of votes cast and Tubman nine percent. Only 37.4 percent of the country’s 1.8 million registered voters cast their ballots, with many believed to have stayed away due the boycott call and violence on the eve of the poll, when police fired on a group of opposition protesters.
Liberian incumbent President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf had won the run-off election, according to the preliminary results announced by the National Election Commission on Thursday afternoon.
According to the results, Johnson-Sirleaf from the ruling Unity Party got 513,320 votes, which constitutes 90.8 percent of the total votes. Her rival Winston Tubman from the opposition party Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), got 52,071 votes, which constitutes 9.2 percent. With 4,457 polling places across the country, 3,859 have been counted and tallied. The turnout of the run-off is 37.4 percent.
Sirleaf’s main challenger, Winston Tubman boycotted the polls citing frauds and called for recount of the votes cast in the first round as precondition to his participation. Tubman’s boycott action to some extend had a negative effect on the turnout on polling day.
Addressing a news conference this afternoon, Acting National Election Commission Chairman Elizabeth Nelson disclosed that voting was peaceful and the electoral body was successful in implementing their mandate.
“Because the run-off election was one election with only two candidates in the race, the tally process is also proceeding much faster than during the Oct. 11, 2011 presidential and legislative elections,” Madam Nelson noted. Meanwhile, Nelson said that the demonstration by CDC was not against the electoral laws of Liberia. She said CDC action is a security issue that has no bearing on the electoral process.
Liberians are voting in the presidential run-off despite at least one death during opposition protests and a boycott over fraud claims. Opposition candidate Winston Tubman said he was pulling out of the vote, but the election commission urged Liberians to cast their ballots. Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president, is now the only candidate.
A BBC reporter says turnout seems much lower than in the first round. The BBC’s Jonathan Paye-Layleh in central Monrovia says at the polling station where he was when voting began, just eight people were waiting to cast their ballots, compared to hundreds last month.
At least one person has died after shots were reportedly fired during an opposition protest in Monrovia ahead of Liberia’s presidential run-off. A BBC reporter saw the body of a young man who had been shot in the head.
Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate Winston Tubman has pulled out of Tuesday’s vote, alleging fraud. Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state, is running for another term. She was first elected after Liberia’s first post-war election in 2005.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is poised to win reelection in a run-off on Tuesday, though her rival has vowed to reject the results after pulling out of the race over allegations of fraud. The vote was meant to gauge the West African state’s progress since a devastating civil war ended in 2003 and pave the way for new investment, but fears are rising it could instead open the door to open-ended political turmoil.
“I will go pray tonight that there will be peace for Liberia,” said Akisame Johnson, a 50-year-old resident of the crumbling seaside capital Monrovia. ”Ma Ellen’s people come up and down here to say of course election will take place Tuesday, but Tubman’s people come and say no. The children confused. We don’t know what will happen,” he said in the local pidgin dialect.
Official campaign for the 2011 run-off presidential election in Liberia scheduled for Tuesday ends mid-night Sunday, according to the National Election Commission guideline. The election takes place despite boycott by main opposition party Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) leaded Winston Tubman.
Tubman was recently summoned to the Nigerian Federal Capital, Abuja by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to convince him to take part in the run-off following his party’s boycott threats. The ruling party, UP and the CDC were winners and runners-up in the first round of voting and were scheduled to contest for the presidency in a run-off on Nov 8, 2011. Despite the resignation of the former chairman of National Electoral Commission (NEC), James Fromayan, the commission said the election process will go ahead as all election materials and staffs have been deployed throughout the country.
Winston Tubman said on Friday he would not take part in Liberia’s planned November 8 presidential run-off vote against President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf but the election commission said a vote would take place anyway. Tubman, a Harvard- and Cambridge-educated lawyer who worked at the United Nations, said the election process was biased against him and called on supporters to take part in a peaceful protest on Saturday and to boycott the vote next week.
He also said he would not recognise any government formed as a result of the polls. But the election commission chief said nothing would stop the poll from taking place as planned. Johnson-Sirleaf’s camp said Tubman was boycotting a poll he knew he could not win but said Liberians would not allow their country to be dragged into further trouble.
Liberia’s election commission chief has resigned after accusations of bias in the recent presidential elections and just days before a planned presidential runoff. ”I chose to step down for the sake of Liberia and so that (challenger Winston Tubman’s) CDC [Congress for Democratic Change] would not have an excuse not to participate in the run-off,” James Fromayan told the Reuters news agency on Sunday.
Tubman last week threatened to withdraw from the November 8 run-off, the country’s second post-war vote, unless there was a change of leadership at the election commission. Fromayan, who has denied any wrong-doing, said he would be replaced by Elizabeth Nelson, his deputy, but he said he did not know it would be a permanent arrangement. There was no immediate reaction from Tubman’s camp.