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.
The culmination of Liberia’s second post-war poll — which will test progress in stabilising a nation that is rich in minerals but was crippled by years of war — has been marred by allegations of bias at the election commission. The previous head of the commission resigned last week after Tubman’s party complained it was biased, but Tubman said problems remained at the body.