Liberia opposition calls for mass protest

2011-11-07 07:43
Monrovia - Liberia's main opposition has called for a mass protest Monday, on the eve of a run-off election which candidate Winston Tubman is boycotting over fears the process will be flawed.

Tubman, who set the country on edge with his call for voters to stay away from Tuesday's run-off presidential election, said he wants his supporters to stage a "peaceful protest" on Monday.

A vigil outside his Congress for Democratic Change headquarters on Saturday and Sunday drew only a handful of people, far from the tens of thousands which spilled into the streets ahead of the first round polls on October 11.

The boycott call raised tensions in the last days of an election campaign which fizzled out on Sunday as the CDC was absent and a last tour through the capital by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf failed to draw the crowds.

Addressing the populous Red Light market district, the Nobel Peace Prize winner praised her country's eight years of peace after a brutal 14-year conflict which left some 250 000 dead ended in 2003.

"I know that nobody in this country, no matter what the talk or rhetoric, nobody really wants us to go back to war," she said.

Tubman claims the first round, in which he placed second with 32.7% of the vote, was flawed by irregularities, and he has refused to take part in the run-off until he is satisfied the process will be transparent.

Fragile democracy

Sirleaf got 43.9% in the first round and has since won the support of key smaller parties such as that of Prince Johnson, a notorious former warlord who was filmed ordering the torture of military dictator Samuel Doe and who scored nearly 12%.

The election has been billed as a chance for the country to cement its fragile democracy and the international community has condemned Tubman's boycott call.

"We are very concerned. It's a bad signal ... political leaders must be prepared to win or lose," the head of the African Union observer mission, Speciosa Wadira Kazibwe, a former Ugandan vice-president, told reporters.

The United States on Saturday said it was "deeply disappointed" by the boycott call, calling Tubman's claims of fraud "unsubstantiated".

West Africa's political bloc Ecowas said it "deeply regrets the retrogressive tone" of Tubman’s statement and urged all involved "not to miss this historic opportunity of consolidating democracy and peace in the country."

Unity Party supporter Lucy Moore said that just two days before the election, she was both happy and sad.

Broken country


"Happy because I know we are going to win no matter what. Sad because we are going alone to the polls."

Ciafa G Clarke, 29, an economics student and Tubman supporter told AFP that if the vote went ahead, "the vast majority of the people will not recognise the regime."

UN leader Ban Ki-moon has urged the rival sides to maintain calm and "not to resort to violence despite political disagreement and to ensure that the peace in Liberia is maintained".

Liberia, Africa's oldest independent state, was founded by freed American slaves in 1847 and is still scarred by the 14-year civil war which shattered infrastructure and the economy.

Sirleaf, who is hailed abroad for her role in rebuilding the nation, has said she wants a second term to rebuild the "broken country" which is still heavily reliant on an 8 000-strong UN peacekeeping mission.

- SAPA
Read more on:    winston tubman  |  ellen johnson sirleaf  |  liberia  |  liberia elections  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.