Will Liberia elect Sirleaf again?


Supporters of Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize and presidential candidate, cheer on a street of Monrovia on October 9, 2011. On Oct. 11 Liberia holds its second election since the end of successive civil wars between 1989 and 2003. Since 2006, Liberia has been led by Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first elected woman president.


Issouf Sanogo

Liberia’s voters will decide tomorrow if President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will stay in office. But despite winning last year’s Nobel Peace Prize the election may not go in Sirleaf’s favor with the nation’s unemployment rate still at 80 percent, the Associated Press reports.

Sirleaf, 72-years-old, has seen her popularity fall as Liberians claim she hasn’t done enough to help the country’s extreme poverty, the AP reports.

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"One out of every three Liberians cannot feed themselves. They live in abject poverty. And they couldn't care less about the Nobel prize," said Charles Brumskine, one of 15 opposition candidates facing Sirleaf in Tuesday's election, to the AP.

Last Friday Sirleaf and two other female activists were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women, the Washington Post reports. Sirleaf, who has been president for the last five years, is credited with getting $5 billion of the country's international debt cleared, allowing Liberia to establish a sovereign credit rating, building clinics, roads and schools, according to the AP.

Read more at GlobalPost: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf slammed by Liberia election candidate

Still, Liberia, which is still hurting after a 14-year civil war, remains deeply impoverished and fingers are pointing towards Sirleaf's leadership.

Sirleaf was the first African woman to be democratically elected in 2005, defeating soccer star George Weah. Weah is her main opponent in tomorrow's election, again.