Public policy students take winter interim trip to Liberia

By Maria Harrast |

Peter Wilson, the Country Program Coordinator for the US African Development Foundation, met with students on the trip.

Over winter interim, 12 Dartmouth students traveled to Monrovia, Liberia, where they witnessed a historic Supreme Court ruling that preceded a runoff presidential election, marking Liberia’s first democratic, peaceful handover of power since 1944.

“The election was actually supposed to be finished by the time we got to Liberia, but it was contested, so it ended up going through the Supreme Court. This is the first time this has happened in Liberian history,” Hannah Pruitt ’19 said. “We got to sit in on that Supreme Court hearing, and it was very cool to see real democracy taking place in Liberia and the Liberian people engaging with democracy for the first time.”

The runoff election advanced between celebrity soccer player George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change Party and then-Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party. On Dec. 26, Weah won 61.5 percent of the votes and succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as president of Liberia.

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