Monrovia (AFP) Liberia, which elects a new president on Tuesday, is an English-speaking nation in West Africa that is still scarred by 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 the assassination in 1980 ofRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberians head to the polls on Tuesday to elect a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, with hopes for a leader who will kickstart the economy and safeguard a fragile peace. Sirleaf will step down after 12 years at the helm of Africa’s first republic, whose back-to-back civil wars (1989-2003) and Ebola crisis (2014-16) have stunted growth and left Liberia among the world’s poorest nations. Twenty candidates are vying to replace Sirleaf, with footballing icon George Weah, incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, longtime opposition figure Charles Brumskine andRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberia will hold presidential and legislative elections on October 10. Here are the key points explaining how the election will work and when the results will be known. – US model – Africa’s first republic was founded by freed slaves from the United States and retains many similarities with the US political system, though there are significant variations. Presidential and vice-presidential candidates run on a joint ticket for six-year terms. Voters will also elect 73 seats to the House of Representatives (lower chamber), also for six years. NoRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberia’s presidential campaign neared its close on Sunday with a quiet day of prayer, but campaigning in the west African nation is not for the faint-hearted — or those sensitive to noise. Liberians go to the polls on Tuesday to pick their first new president in 12 years as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf closes the page on two terms dominated by post-war reconstruction and the Ebola crisis. The calm reflection that has momentarily settled over this predominantly Christian nation, is in stark contrast to the exuberant rallies that haveRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Dressed in identical printed skirts, a hundred Liberian women knelt in prayer after another long day in three weeks of fasting, appealing once more that their country be spared of violence. Ahead of elections next Tuesday, women of all ages are gathering from dawn to sunset on a roadside close to the party headquarters of several presidential candidates. Their daily injunction for peace echoes the female activism that helped end Liberia’s civil wars, which ran back-to-back from 1989 to 2003. The success of their non-violent protests propelled theRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberian presidential candidate George Weah on Friday denied contact with ex-leader Charles Taylor as controversy erupted over the former warlord’s alleged behind-the-scenes role in the country’s politics. After stepping off a helicopter on his return to the capital, Monrovia, from a nationwide tour ahead of elections on October 10, Weah categorically denied speaking with Taylor, who is serving a 50-year prison term in Britain for war crimes and crimes against humanity. “I am not in contact in Charles Taylor, I repeat, I am not,” Weah told AFP andRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberia’s female politicians profess near-universal respect for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as she steps down after 12 years as president — but many also say the glass ceiling that Africa’s first female leader cracked remains firmly in place. Sirleaf, 78, will not run in October 10’s presidential election after a constitutionally mandated two terms. In 2005, she unexpectedly swept the country’s first vote after a brutal civil war, and during her time in office the fragile peace has held. But “Ma Ellen”, as she is known at home, isRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberia’s outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says she will actively campaign for the handful of female candidates contesting elections in October, while her male vice-president seeks to replace her. There is just a single female candidate among 20 contenders running for president this year in Liberia, as Sirleaf steps down as Africa’s first female head of state following more than a decade in power. “I will not be seeking re-election in the October 2017 elections, I will be on my feet everywhere in my own little way toRead More
Monrovia (AFP) Liberia’s 20 presidential candidates, including a former warlord, footballer George Weah and a former fashion model, started campaigning Monday to succeed Africa’s first female head of state in October’s election. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is stepping down and there is no obvious frontrunner to lead the fragile west African state. The Nobel Prize-winning Sirleaf was elected to run in 2005 following a long civil war which left deep scars on Liberia’s economy and social fabric. Elections for the presidency and House of Representatives take place on October 10 —Read More
Monrovia (AFP) Standing in sweltering heat for hours at a time, painted head-to-toe in the colours of the tax authority, Emmanuel Howard has become a fixture at traffic junctions in Liberia’s capital Monrovia. He and dozens of other young men are deployed by advertising firms as colourful human billboards for client ranging from government agencies to brides-to-be. Standing stock still on the bustling roadsides, they have become street sensations. “I feel good being painted because this is what gives me my daily bread. Some of my friends are in theRead More