Setiembre 22, 2018

Liberia set for presidential elections as Sirleaf prepares to step down

11 Octubre 2017, 03:06 | Bibiana Flor

Liberia set for presidential elections as Sirleaf prepares to step down

Liberia set for presidential elections as Sirleaf prepares to step down

20, 2006 photo, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaks to journalists at the Executive Mansion in Monrovia, Liberia.

The process is under the watchful eye of party political representatives.

2,183,683 people registered to vote in the hotly contested election that will determine the replacement of Africa's first female democratically elected president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Similarly, it said anyone who asserts those rights through threats, vandalism, or at the risk of public safety should also be held to account.

But Liberia's transfer of power stands as an example in Africa where other leaders cling to power.

"Under the Transitional Government, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission launched in 2005 and it worked throughout the first mandate of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and concluded in 2010".

While African countries such as Rwanda and Senegal have passed gender parity acts for women in politics, Liberia's parliament is only 12 percent female.

Providing a safe and secure election environment will be the first big test for the newly empowered Liberian security forces, who remain under-equipped and underfunded, the United Nations says.

Added to this are accusations of nepotism after the president appointed her three sons to major posts in the government, albeit they were qualified for those positions.

Korpo Willigie says she now travels across West Africa to trade her traditional wraps. On knowing that he had lost the presidential election, he took a people fresh from a liberation war against Portuguese troops, into killing each other.

Millions of Liberians are voting today to elect a new president and legislators in the West African country's third election since the end of the civil war in 2003.

Elections commission head Jerome Korkoya said some individuals were arrested for trying to vote a few times, but he said voting went smoothly overall. "As women we want to see this country improve for us, but first we want peace".

Once the voter knows which number corresponds to the candidate that one wants to vote on, one can lift the relevant flap or flaps and leave their thumb print using with ink.

Liberians were also to elect 73 members of the upper house, or House of Representatives. Liberia is ranked 90 out of 176 countries in Transparency International's 2016 corruption perception index. One poster carried around by opponents read: "Another six years of this." with a photograph of a distressed woman seated in a damp home with walls made of corrugated iron.

"With voting materials now dispatched to the various voting stations and the security service also ready and alert to ensure a peaceful and transparent process, it's now up to Liberians to decide who their new leader will be. Your loyalty is to your family, your children, and your children's children, and their children", said the president. "Serious incidents were mostly referred to the police who were reported to be acting in 73 percent of cases referred to them", the organization notes.

The amendment to the rape law is likely only to worsen accountability.

There have, however, been some gains since 2005.

Unlike in 2011, Liberia's elections have seen little violence, boding well for Liberia's budding democracy.

And on a less tangible level, Johnson Sirleaf's status as president and Nobel laureate has inspired girls and young women to aim high.

"Yeah, she came to vote too".

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