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.
Johnson-Sirleaf took nearly 44 percent of the first round vote on October 11 and has since won the endorsement of the third-place finisher, former warlord Prince Johnson, all but sealing her victory in the second round run-off. But her chief rival, former U.N. diplomat Winston Tubman – who took roughly 33 percent in the first round – announced last week he would withdraw from Tuesday’s race and called on Liberians to boycott the poll due to evidence of fraud.
“Something was done to the figures, they were doctored, they were changed, they were altered. That is our belief,” Tubman told Reuters in an interview Sunday. He said he was seeking changes to Liberia’s vote-counting procedures and a delay to the run-off of between two and four weeks, adding that his party would reject the results if the election goes ahead Tuesday as planned.
Full Article: Sirleaf seen winning Liberia run-off vote | Reuters.