News24

Liberian election rival slams Nobel award

2011-10-08 15:14

Monrovia - A Liberian presidential candidate on Friday slammed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as unacceptable and "provocative" days before she seeks re-election.

"Madam Sirleaf does not deserve a Nobel peace prize award because she committed violence in this country," said Winston Tubman, Sirleaf's main rival in next Tuesday's presidential election in which she is seeking a second term.

"This award is unacceptable and undeserving," Tubman, a 72-year-old Harvard-trained lawyer and veteran diplomat, told AFP by phone.

"The timing of the award is provocative," he said, adding that it came as his Congress for Democratic Change party was holding a meeting in Monvoria as part of its campaign.

"No Nobel prize can make any difference for this president that is why people will vote to get her out of power. This prize will have no bearing on ordinary Liberians," Tubman said.

He accused Sirleaf of failing to launch a "real reconciliation" in Liberia after the 1989-2003 civil war which left 250,000 people dead, and said she had supported former warlord Charles Taylor in a reign of terror in the 1990s.

The Nobel Peace Prize was jointly awarded to Sirleaf, another Liberian, peace activist Leymah Gbowee, and Yemeni journalist Tawakul Karman for their work in women rights.