Monrovia (AFP) Liberia, which elects a new president in a run-off on Tuesday, is an English-speaking nation in West Africa that still bears the scars of a gruesome civil war and a devastating Ebola outbreak. Here is a snapshot of the country: – Oldest republic in Africa – In 1822 the United States starts sending freed black slaves to a part of West Africa that eventually becomes Liberia. The new arrivals declare independence in 1847, establishing the first republic in Africa. Descendants of former slaves run the country until theRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Vote counting was under way in Liberia on Wednesday following a peaceful run-off election for a new president, pitting former international footballer George Weah against Vice-President Joseph Boakai. Voters were choosing a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is stepping down after 12 years as Africa’s first elected female head of state. Results of Tuesday’s vote are expected in a few days, in what would be the West African country’s first democratic transition since 1944, according to electoral officials. The ballot was delayed for seven weeks dueRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberian presidential candidate George Weah’s running mate Jewel Howard-Taylor began life in politics as first lady to former warlord leader Charles Taylor, but has since established a formidable political reputation in her own right. Howard-Taylor was a surprise pick for vice-president on the ticket of the footballer turned politician, as many expected her to run for the top job herself. Her National Patriotic Party (NPP) was formed in 1997 by members of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) — Charles Taylor’s rebel fighters — to allow himRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Vice president since 2005, Joseph Boakai has campaigned for president as a natural transition candidate after helping to ensure peace prevailed in Liberia since taking power after back-to-back civil wars. Boakai will go head-to-head with former football star George Weah on December 26 in a long-delayed run-off for the presidency after trailing him in most of the country in the first round of voting. Weah won 38.4 percent of votes on October 10, while Boakai came in second with 28.8 percent, triggering a second round as neither manRead More
Monrovia (AFP) George Weah emerged from Liberia’s slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s, and has leveraged his status as a revered figure among the country’s young and poor in his second run for the presidency. Weah will face Vice President Joseph Boakai on December 26 in a presidential run-off, the culmination of 12 years spent building political credibility to match his huge popularity. “You know I’ve been in competitions –- tough ones too and I came out victorious. So I know Boakai cannot defeat me,” Weah saidRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberians choose a new leader Tuesday in a run-off between Vice President Joseph Boakai and footballing icon George Weah, a vote that will mark the country’s first democratic transition since 1944. After seven weeks of delays caused by legal complaints lodged by Boakai’s ruling Unity Party against the country’s electoral commission, polling stations are due to open at 8:00 am (0800 GMT) and close at 6:00 pm for Liberia’s 2.1 million registered voters. Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has urged voters not to drink too much onRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Former football star George Weah has waited 12 years to become president of Liberia, and with his dream now within touching distance fans danced and sang in support in a Monrovia stadium on Saturday. Weah goes head-to-head with Vice-President Joseph Boakai on December 26 in a long-delayed run-off for the presidency, with hopes that Christmas celebrations do not stop his legions of young and poor supporters from coming out to vote. “Weah is our man. Weah for president,” they screamed across a cacophony of rumba and vuvuzelas, jumpingRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberia’s ruling United Party said Friday it would not appeal the top court’s rejection of its legal challenge to delay an upcoming presidential run-off vote, seen as a crucial test to the crisis-hit country’s stability. The party of Vice-President Joseph Boakai, one of the two contenders in the December 26 ballot, filed the request last week after calling into question the official election body’s integrity. But the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the party’s demand that parliament be given the power to set a new vote date. “TheRead More
Gbarnga (Liberia) (AFP) Dekergar Duko, a lean father-of-two who crushes rocks for a living, often reminisces during his days of backbreaking labour about his life under Liberia’s warlord-turned-president, Charles Taylor. Living in a hovel metres (yards) away from the so-called “College of Knowledge” where the dreaded strongman trained child soldiers to kill, Duko recalls when times were so much more comfortable. “I really wish for our former president to be back with us,” Duko says. “In Taylor’s day, at least we were growing.” Duko’s image of Taylor as a caring,Read More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberia’s ruling Unity Party has asked the Supreme Court to further delay the presidential runoff, which its candidate Vice President Joseph Boakai will contest on December 26. The party filed a request late Thursday in which it called for the country’s legislature to be given responsibility for determining the election date. The move came just hours after Boakai was dealt a setback, when a major opposition party announced it would back his rival, former football star George Weah. “We request that the recent ruling of the Supreme CourtRead More