Skip to content

Run-Off Elections in Liberia

November 8, 2011
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf presidential run-off

President and Unity Party candidate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf waves to supporters during a last electoral campaign rally in Monrovia. (Photo: Luc Gnago / Reuters)

Presidential run-off elections in Liberia are scheduled for today.  The first round was held on October 11, 2011. The incumbent, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Unity Party, won 45.4%  of the votes. She was followed by Winston Tubman and his running mate, the former soccer star George Weah of the Congress for the Democratic Change (CDC) party, who received 29.5% of the votes.

The first round of elections were peaceful and they were generally judged to be free and fair by the various domestic and international observers, including the Election Coordination Committee (ECC), Human Rights Monitors, Liberian Council of Churches, Community Watch Forum, Electoral Institute of South Africa (ELSA), Carter Center, West African Women Election Observation Team, ECOWAS, African Union, United Nations, American Embassy, Japan Embassy, Wayne State University and Mano River Union Peace Network Liberia  (MARWOPNET).

Since the first round of  elections, the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC), a coalition of civil society organizations including Search for Common Ground in Liberia as the Chair, have been concerned to see worrying signs surrounding the elections process.

On October 17th, the ECC released a press statement responding to the violent acts targeting the media. Then, in its second press release, the ECC expressed concerns regarding the CDC’s boycott of the presidential run-off. In a statement the ECC encouraged the CDC to channel its grievances through the procedures provided by the election law instead of boycotting the elections. The ECC also urged the National Election Commission (NEC) to publish their findings regarding the fraud claims. Lastly the ECC urged the Government of Liberia to take serious action when the NEC publically blundered undermining the confidence the parties, particularly the CDC, held in the NEC.

Finally, rising tensions emerging between the Liberia National Police and the members of the CDC on November 7, 2011 have been noted by the ECC who is working with all parties to ensure this does not explode into violence.

Liberia elections riot

Liberian opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party supporters at the rally that turned violent. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)

Yesterday, on November 7, 2011, a group of CDC supporters, mostly composed of young men, claimed that they were on a peaceful march to hand a petition to the American Ambassador to Liberia and the headquarters of the United Nations Mission in Liberia stating their grievances. However, their march met a blockade of the Emergency Response Unit supported by UN police that was set up as an attempt to prevent clashes and violent incidents by the protesters. As a response, the protesters started to throw rocks and other objects at the police, and at least one person has been killed during the incident.

Like many other observers, ECC and SFCG are disappointed by CDC’s pull out from the electoral process and support the position of using the legal framework to solve issues.

SFCG stands beside the ECC and the people of Liberia as they encourage peaceful and calm elections.

About these ads
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58 other followers