Over two million Liberians will today, Tuesday, October 10, 2017 vote to elect a new president and legislators in the West African country’s third election since the end of the civil war in 2003.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the continent’s first female President, is stepping down after serving two six-year terms in office – the constitutionally mandated limit.
It will be the first time since 1944 that a democratically elected leader will hand over power to another elected leader in the country.
Nineteen (19) presidential candidates are expected to be voted for, but out of this number, only one person who will have 50 per cent of the total votes cast plus one vote will occupy the seat of government in Liberia known as the ‘Executive Mansion.”
Apart from the presidential election, Liberians will also elect 73 representatives like Ghana’s version of Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent their people, and 15 senators who will represent 15 counties in the country.
Meanwhile, information reaching Today indicates that the presidential contest is between the flag-bearer of the ruling Unity Party (UP), Mr. Joseph Boakai, who apparently is the sitting Vice President, and the standard-bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), the former World Best Player, George Mannah Oppon Weah.
While according to our information the people at the grassroots are rooting for Mr Weah, the elite in Liberia want to retain the ruing UP in power by voting for its presidential candidate.
Our investigations further established that while the glamorous image of Liberia’s one-time world class footballer has given entry into the race, the cachet of popular appeal his reputed erratic attitude towards political opponents and the lack of administrative experience had publicly been exposed in the process of the campaign.
As a result of this, Today has learnt that many Liberians fear over the possibility that Liberia will be plunged once more into turmoil if undisciplined leadership is allowed to regain ascendancy.
Also, Mr Weah’s choice of the ex-wife of former rebel leader, Charles Taylor, as his running mate, Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor, some Liberians in Ghana told Today in an interview ahead of the polls today that “it raises questions about his real motives in seeking the presidency.”
That, they believe, was among the reasons in the rise of popularity and vocal sympathy for Vice President, Joseph Nyuma Boakai,
“Many people have expressed deep sympathy for Vice President Boakai’s apparent devotion and loyalty to Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf and have pledged to support him even though there have been widespread allegations that she has not thrown her full weight behind him,” they said.
Story: Atta Kwaku Boadi