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Liberia: a difficult run-off 0

Liberia’s presidential challenger said on Wednesday he may boycott the next month’s run off vote against incumbent Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf unless the leadership of the national electoral body is sacked.

Former U.N. diplomat Winston Tubman has accused the National Election Commission of favouring Johnson-Sirleaf in the poll and of not taking his complaints of fraud in the Oct. 11 first round seriously enough, Reuters reports.

Newly named Nobel peace laureate Johnson-Sirleaf won 44 percent of an Oct. 11 first round vote, while Tubman came in second with 33 percent, according to the NEC.

The political atmosphere in Liberia, has become more tensed as political parties in the country start preparations for the November 8, run-off presidential election. The run-off became necessary because none of the 16 presidential candidates could garner enough votes to be declared winner in the October 11, general election. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the incumbent president and candidate of the ruling Unity Party, UP, and Winston Tubman, of the Congress for Democratic Change, CDC, would be the two candidates that will contest the run-off election.

The result declared by James Fromayan, chairman, Liberian National Electoral Commission, NEC,  showed that Sirleaf garnered 511,796 votes which amount to 44 percent of the total votes; Tubman garnered 374,610 votes which is 32.2 percent of the total votes, and Prince Johnson, of the National Union for Democratic Progress, NUDP, scored 136,819 votes, which make up 11.8 percent of the votes. According to the Liberian electoral guideline, a candidate must score at least 50 percent of the total votes to be declared winner of the first round election.

Johnson-Sirleaf became Africa’s first freely elected female head of state in U.N.-set elections in 2005, two years after the end of the war that killed nearly a quarter million people and devastated the country’s infrastructure.

By Staff – Afronline

Sources: Reuters, Newswatch

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