Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Macron makes Time 100 as France revolts

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey's rush to the polls: Erdogan calls snap election to cement his power

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

France's Macron likens divisions within EU to 'civil war'

Read more

ENCORE!

Sting and Shaggy on making musical magic together

Read more

FOCUS

The citizens finding solutions to Lebanon's chronic waste crisis

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Head of UN entity probing war crimes in Syria speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

The future of work: How the gig economy is changing the jobs market

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

'France has underinvested in early childhood education for many years'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Badass': Accolades pour in for Southwest pilot who landed plane after engine failure

Read more

Africa

President urges voters to ignore rival's boycott plea

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-06

Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Saturday called on voters to ignore calls from her challenger, Winston Tubman, to boycott the Nov. 8 election in which she looks set to win.

REUTERS  - Liberia’s president urged voters to go to the polls this week and to ignore a boycott by the opposition. Campaigning for the Nov. 8 presidential runoff ends at midnight Sunday, and incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is likely to remain unopposed. Her supporters drove around Monrovia Sunday calling for support over amplifiers mounted on pickups.

Liberia’s leading opposition candidate Winston Tubman had said he was pulling out of the presidential runoff election. He told The Associated Press Friday that he was boycotting the runoff because he was not convinced the process would be fair.

President Sirleaf accused Tubman of violating the constitution as she spoke to her Unity Party supporters in an address carried lived on radio and television Saturday.

“On Nov. 8, I urge you to go out and cast your vote for your favorite candidates,” she said. “Do not succumb to fear and intimidation. Do not allow any politician to hold our country hostage.” “If this is how they run their party, think of how they would run this country,” she said of Tubman and his Congress for Democratic Change party.

This is not the first time that Tubman’s party has threatened a boycott. When it became clear in October that incumbent President Sirleaf was leading the first round of voting with over 45 percent, the Congress for Democratic Change joined seven other opposition parties in signing a statement saying they were pulling out of the presidential poll.

They rejoined the electoral process days later, after the chairman of the National Elections Commission resigned following allegations he favored Sirleaf, the country’s Harvard-educated president who was just awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Sirleaf won the first round of voting but failed to reach the threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

Tubman’s decision to boycott the runoff would guarantee victory for the country’s ruling party but would rob the electoral process of its legitimacy. “The election machinery is still flawed, as it was in the first round,” Tubman said.

The U.S. State Department said it was “deeply disappointed” by the decision of the CDC to boycott the runoff election. “Participation in elections is a fundamental part of democracy,” a statement attributed to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Saturday. “We commend all Liberians for their peaceful participation in the elections, and encourage all Liberians to exercise their political voice and vote.”

It said the CDC’s charges that the first round was fraudulent were “unsubstantiated.” The international community, including the United States, will send observers to monitor the election process, it said. Sirleaf is expected to address a rally before her house in the Sinkor district of Monrovia Sunday evening.
 

Date created : 2011-11-05

  • LIBERIA

    Opposition withdraws recount call, will participate in runoff

    Read more

  • LIBERIA

    Incumbent takes lead in early presidential poll results

    Read more

  • LIBERIA

    Africa’s only female president faces a tough home crowd

    Read more

COMMENT(S)