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One of Liberia’s main parties calls for halt to election results
12 October 2017, 7:35 AM

One of Liberia’s leading political parties called for a halt in announcing the result of Tuesday’s presidential election, citing irregularities in the vote.

The Liberty Party, whose candidate Charles Brumskine was considered a front-runner to take over from Nobel Peace Prizewinner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said it would consider taking legal action if the National Elections Commission (NEC) did not act on its demands.

The NEC was originally expected to release preliminary results on Thursday.

“The Liberty Party is deeply troubled by the discovery of numerous incidents of irregularities and fraud that occurred during the elections,” Liberty Party national chairman Benjamin Sanvee said in a statement.

“We are calling on NEC to immediately halt further announcements of election results. If NEC does not cooperate with our request, we will take the appropriate legal action,” he said.
He did not give specific evidence of voter fraud and it was unclear what kind of activity could have altered Tuesday’s vote.

An NEC spokesperson told Reuters that it was unaware of the Liberty Party’s complaint and did not say whether the commission believed illegal acts occurred.

On election day, materials including ballot boxes arrived late in some locations and some people struggled to find their names on voter rolls, witnesses said, but there was so far no evidence that this was linked to illicit activity.

Any irregularities would taint the results of an election expected to mark the first democratic transfer of power in over seven decades in a country haunted by a civil war that ended nearly 15 years ago.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest modern republic, was founded by freed US slaves in 1847 but its last democratic power transfer dates back to 1943.

Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president,won a surprise victory in 2005 following a post-war transition.She was re-elected in 2011 but is barred from seeking another term.

Thursday 12 October 2017 07:35

REUTERS

One of Liberia’s main parties calls for halt to election results
12 October 2017, 7:35 AM

One of Liberia’s leading political parties called for a halt in announcing the result of Tuesday’s presidential election, citing irregularities in the vote.

The Liberty Party, whose candidate Charles Brumskine was considered a front-runner to take over from Nobel Peace Prizewinner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said it would consider taking legal action if the National Elections Commission (NEC) did not act on its demands.

The NEC was originally expected to release preliminary results on Thursday.

“The Liberty Party is deeply troubled by the discovery of numerous incidents of irregularities and fraud that occurred during the elections,” Liberty Party national chairman Benjamin Sanvee said in a statement.

“We are calling on NEC to immediately halt further announcements of election results. If NEC does not cooperate with our request, we will take the appropriate legal action,” he said.
He did not give specific evidence of voter fraud and it was unclear what kind of activity could have altered Tuesday’s vote.

An NEC spokesperson told Reuters that it was unaware of the Liberty Party’s complaint and did not say whether the commission believed illegal acts occurred.

On election day, materials including ballot boxes arrived late in some locations and some people struggled to find their names on voter rolls, witnesses said, but there was so far no evidence that this was linked to illicit activity.

Any irregularities would taint the results of an election expected to mark the first democratic transfer of power in over seven decades in a country haunted by a civil war that ended nearly 15 years ago.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest modern republic, was founded by freed US slaves in 1847 but its last democratic power transfer dates back to 1943.

Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president,won a surprise victory in 2005 following a post-war transition.She was re-elected in 2011 but is barred from seeking another term.

– By REUTERS

Liberians vote to bolster peaceful democracy in presidential poll
11 October 2017, 7:15 AM

Liberians voted on Tuesday in an election expected to mark the first democratic transfer of power in over seven decades in a country haunted by a civil war that ended nearly 15 years ago.

Outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, is praised for maintaining peace since taking over after the end of the West African country’s 14-year conflict in which child fighters were used.

Liberia’s policy of prioritising reconciliation over justice, however, has meant that prominent figures responsible for the violence that killed a quarter of a million people are still present on the political landscape.

There is no clear front runner but Prince Johnson, a former rebel leader who finished third in the last election in 2011, is among 20 candidates on the ballot.

The ex-wife of warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor, now imprisoned in the UK for war crimes committed in Sierra Leone, is the running mate of another favourite – former soccer star George Weah.

“I am just voting for peace. We want peace right now,” said James Marthics, a voter in Paynesville, a suburb of the capital Monrovia.

Residents queued before dawn at polling stations in Monrovia, some bringing small wooden chairs with them, and formed queues as vendors sold them soft drinks and palm wine.

Materials including ballot boxes arrived late in some locations and some people struggled to find their names on voter rolls. State broadcaster ELBC reported a party chair in LofaCounty was detained for distributing money to voters.

Elections commission head Jerome Korkoya said some individuals were arrested for trying to vote more than once, but he said voting went smoothly overall.

– By REUTERS

Liberians vote to bolster peaceful democracy in presidential poll
11 October 2017, 7:15 AM

Liberians voted on Tuesday in an election expected to mark the first democratic transfer of power in over seven decades in a country haunted by a civil war that ended nearly 15 years ago.

Outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, is praised for maintaining peace since taking over after the end of the West African country’s 14-year conflict in which child fighters were used.

Liberia’s policy of prioritising reconciliation over justice, however, has meant that prominent figures responsible for the violence that killed a quarter of a million people are still present on the political landscape.

There is no clear front runner but Prince Johnson, a former rebel leader who finished third in the last election in 2011, is among 20 candidates on the ballot.

The ex-wife of warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor, now imprisoned in the UK for war crimes committed in Sierra Leone, is the running mate of another favourite – former soccer star George Weah.

“I am just voting for peace. We want peace right now,” said James Marthics, a voter in Paynesville, a suburb of the capital Monrovia.

Residents queued before dawn at polling stations in Monrovia, some bringing small wooden chairs with them, and formed queues as vendors sold them soft drinks and palm wine.

Materials including ballot boxes arrived late in some locations and some people struggled to find their names on voter rolls. State broadcaster ELBC reported a party chair in LofaCounty was detained for distributing money to voters.

Elections commission head Jerome Korkoya said some individuals were arrested for trying to vote more than once, but he said voting went smoothly overall.

Wednesday 11 October 2017 07:15

REUTERS

Liberian President Johnson Sirleaf calls for mass participation
10 October 2017, 7:09 AM

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addressed the nation on Monday on the eve of the presidential elections, the first democratic power transfer in 73 years.

Johnson Sirleaf, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for helping bring peace after civil war turned her country into a wasteland, urged for a peaceful day at the polls on Tuesday and said it would be the first time in three generations Liberians will be transferring presidential authority democratically and peacefully.

Twenty candidates are standing to replace Johnson Sirleaf in a first round, with nobody likely to win a majority outright, the top two are expected to face each other in a run-off in around a month.

Among the front-runners seen as likely to win a place in the run-off are Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, representing the ruling Unity Party, and football star George Weah, who lost to Johnson Sirleaf in 2005.

Campaigning for continuity, Boakai said the government could have done better and promised to fight corruption.

Johnson Sirleaf, 78, has many accomplishments to boast since she became Africa’s first modern female head of state. The economy is four times the size it was when she took office in 2005.

The gangs of drug addled youths who raped and mutilated their way across the nation during a civil war that ended in 2003 are a vivid but receding memory.

– By REUTERS

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