No matter who replaces Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberia’s president, these four challenges loom

By Agnieszka Paczynska | The Washington Post|

Voting takes place in Nimba County, Liberia, last month. (Photo: Agnieszka Paczynska)

(Washington Post) – On Nov. 6, the Liberian Supreme Court postponed the presidential runoff election between Sen. George Weah, from the Congress for Democratic Change, and Vice President Joseph Boakai, of the ruling Unity Party. It had been scheduled for the following day.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was not a candidate, having completed two six-year terms.

Thus, this was to be the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power.

International and domestic observers had judged the Oct. 10 election as peaceful and generally well conducted, even though they did note some challenges, including some overcrowded precincts, some voters with voter cards but not on voter rolls, and some polling officials inconsistently applying procedures.

The Liberty Party’s candidate, Charles Brumskine, came in third, with 9.6 percent of the vote. His party brought a complaint before the Supreme Court, alleging irregularities and fraud. The court ruled that before moving forward, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) needed to investigate the allegations. At this point it is not clear when the runoff will be held.

Internews is an international media development organization that is implementing the USAID funded Liberia Media Development project which seeks to increase citizens’ access to independent and reliable information and empowerment to engage in well-informed public discussion on important issues.

Internews supported the 2017 electoral process by organizing over 120 legislative debates in 73 electoral districts nationwide. Thursday’s forum is part of our efforts to encourage constructive dialogue about the electoral process in a way that strengthens Liberia’s democracy and promotes peace during the run-off election.

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Source: Washington Post

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About Cholo Brooks 5090 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.