Liberia Election: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf promises reconciliation


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

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has pledged reconciliation after a run-off election in which she was the only candidate. She vowed to include opponents in her second term, BBC News reported.  

Sirleaf, a newly-named Nobel laureate, is leading the polls with 90.8 percent of votes. Her rival, Winston Tubman, boycotted the election after alleging that the poll was rigged in Sirleaf's favor. 

According to Deutsche Welle

Sirleaf's re-election was seen as a foregone conclusion after rival Winston Tubman pulled out of the race and urged his supporters to boycott the polls, over fears the process would be rigged.

Turnout during Tuesday's poll was 37.4 percent, about half the number who turned out for the election's first round last month. With such a low turnout and no majority in parliament, her task promises to be all the more difficult, the BBC reported.

While Sirleaf won the most votes in Tuesday's poll, she failed to gain an outright majority.  This forced a run-off election.

According to Reuters Africa:

Sirleaf's Unity Party's failure to win a majority in parliamentary elections held last month may boost the need for her to seek allies, although she has not specified whether that will run to government posts for Tubman or other opposition leaders.

"I will reach out to all the presidential candidates. What I will offer them is not yet known," she told reporters on Thursday.

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