World Liberians Head To Poll, To Replace President Johnson Sirleaf

Campaigning has been colourful as democracy takes root in the tiny West African nation of Liberia

Campaigning has been colourful as democracy takes root in the tiny West African nation of Liberia

The election marks the end of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's tenure.

Alongside the results of Tuesday's election, the global community will be looking forward to seeing Liberia's history of assassinations, coups and exiled dictators shift to more stable footing as Sirleaf peacefully transfers her post.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has launched the Women Situation Room (WSR) in Liberia with thanks and appreciation to all Liberians including women for their selfless role played in keeping the peace. "Liberians will choose a new, better and brighter future", he said.

Providing a safe and secure election environment will be the first big test for the newly empowered Liberian security forces that took over the responsibility for national security past year. "They are in a peaceful and jubilant mood", he said.

For the girls here, just having a woman as president has inspired them.

The West African country has suffered two back-to-back civil wars (1989-2003), during which a quarter of a million people or eight percent of the population was killed. "And it could only happen if all Liberians were peaceful", the President averred.

A friend who worked in the country has told of the special treatment female guests of the president used to receive. Early voting in Monrovia went rather smoothly, though there were delays in some areas.

Howard-Taylor has claimed she did not know about the recruitment and treatment of child soldiers under her husband's rule, and said he used to laugh off any serious questions she asked him.

For his army of supporters, football legend George Weah is the "chosen one" for Liberia.

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Academic Robtel Neajai Pailey and civil society leader Korto Reeves Williams note in The Conversation that Sirleaf has built and renovated hundreds of markets for Liberia's "market women" - female informal traders.

The amendment to the rape law is likely only to worsen accountability. Parliamentary elections are also being held at the same time.

Cummings, a former Executive Vice President of Coca-Cola, who joined the race 18 months ago, is reported to have become a big force with his door-to-door campaign strategy. Under Johnson Sirleaf, the country has failed to meet its goal to have women occupying at least 30 percent of all national elected offices and leadership positions in political parties.

In an article by Henry Johnson, a Liberian entrepreneur, he outlined six reasons why Cummings should be elected President.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and women's activist Leymah Gbowee, who jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize with Sirleaf, says the outgoing president hasn't done enough to advance women's rights.

How about closer to home? He will be judged on his record in her government.

Though President Sirleaf has on several occasions openly declared her support for Vice President Joseph Boakai, she had been often criticized by members of her party for not doing much to support his presidential bid. He ran his campaign on a corruption-free platform.

"The three weeks period only afforded the Elections Commission to train the trainers, but those who have been trained can not reach to the many registered blind people all across the country before October 10th".

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