Johnson Sirleaf wins


The inevitable was confirmed yesterday when National Election Commission Chairman, Elizabeth Nelson, reported that incumbent president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Unity Party had won a second term as president.

The result, however, was rather hollow in that the second round runoff opponent, Winston Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), had pulled out of the ballot late last week and yesterday was saying that he did not recognise the election. The CDC has said that the poll was fixed, that there had been ballot stuffing and the tally sheets had been tampered with.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the second round runoff which took place on Tuesday, taking 90.2% of the vote. Turnout, however, was low at 33%, less than half of the first round figure of 71%. That may have been partly a result of the boycott, but also because of violence in the final stages of the campaign which may have intimidated some voters to stay at home.

Although Tubman has said that the vote was fixed the indications are that Johnson Sirleaf would have won anyway. In the first round she took 44% of the vote to Tubman’s 33% and she had been endorsed by the third positioned candidate, Prince Johnson, who had taken 11% in the first round.

The major concern is that Liberia doesn’t sink back into violence after so much hard work, following the 2003 ceasefire, in getting the country back into some sort of stability.

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