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Opposition withdraws recount call, will participate in runoff

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-17

Liberia’s main opposition candidate Winston Tubman withdrew a demand for a recount of Tuesday’s a presidential poll, which put the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize-winning incumbent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in the lead.

AFP - The Liberian opposition said Sunday it would contest the run-off presidential vote even though it rejects preliminary results of the first round that put the incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the lead.

"We are going to fully take part in the second round, but we are not going to accept any more acts of fraud," said Merlie Kemru, campaign manager of former warlord Prince Johnson, who finished third in the October 11 vote behind Sirleaf and former diplomat Winston Tubman.

Sirleaf's party vowed earlier Sunday that she would contest a run-off, even if the opposition boycotted over complaints that the National Elections Commission had fixed the results in favour of the incumbent.

Nine opposition parties had on Saturday issued a joint statement rejecting as "flawed" the provisional results released by the NEC.

Those results gave Sirleaf's a lead with nearly 45 percent of the vote, followed by former diplomat Winston Tubman with 31 percent and former warlord Prince Johnson with 11.2 percent after 71 percent of the ballots were counted.

The opposition statement claimed there was "a calculated and deliberate act by NEC to rig these elections in favour of President Johnson Sirleaf and the Unity Party".

If the provisional results stand up, Sirleaf will lack the majority needed for an outright win and will face the second place finisher in the run-off, likely to be Tubman of Congress for Democratic Change party.

Date created : 2011-10-17

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