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Liberia - Stadig tæt opløb mellem "jernladyen" og "King George"

LIBERIA: Weah claims fraud as Sirleaf takes early lead in presidential race

IRINnews.org, 9. november 2005

Optællingen af stemmer efter præsidensvalget giver snævert forspring til Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf over George Weah, hvilket absolut ikke falder i god jord hos Weah. Valgdeltagelsen under anden runde har været markant lavere end under første runde, hvilket utvivlsom har styrket Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, da mange Liberianere bosat uden for Liberia, som stemte i første runde ikke haft de økonomiske ressourcer til også at rejse til Liberia for at stemme i anden runde. Weahs store opbakning hos de unge vælgere og blandt de parter, der tidligere var involveret i borgerkrigen, kan give anledning til frygt for, hvorledes disse grupper vil reagere i tilfælde af et eventueæt nederlag til Weah.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf - ©  Claire Soares/IRIN
MONROVIA, 9 Nov 2005 (IRIN) - Former finance minister Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf took an early lead on Wednesday in the race for the Liberian presidency, as her soccer star rival George Weah said that the run-off vote had not been free and fair.

With results in from a third of polling stations across the West African nation, the National Elections Commission said that Sirleaf had won 60.4 percent of the ballots cast in Tuesday’s second-round vote and Weah had captured 39.6 percent.

As the first preliminary and partial votes were being announced, the former AC Milan striker was declaring that the ballot had been fixed.

“We’re preaching about transparency and democracy but in this case, I found that the election was fraudulent. There were a lot of irregularities,” he told reporters, holding up ballot papers that he said had been pre-marked for his rival.

Liberians keep themselves up to date on the latest goings-on in the race for the presidency - ©  IRIN
“But while we are going through the investigation… I ask all of my partisans to be calm for the sake of peace,” he said.

Weah, a high school dropout who made a name for himself on the football pitches of Europe, has proved popular with young Liberians and he has also won the support of many ex-combatants and their former rebel leaders.

Some Liberians worry that these young men, experiencing their first elections since the 14-year-old conflict ended, may react badly if the man they call “King George” loses.

“If George says there’s cheating then we will back George,” said James Johnson, a 21-year-old cook.

Looking to observers

Aides for Sirleaf -- who will be Africa’s first elected female president if she maintains her lead – declined to comment on Weah’s allegations of fraud.

“We were the players in this election. It’s the international observers who are the referees and will make the judgment on whether the ballot was free and fair,” Morris Dukuly, one of the campaign team, told IRIN.

Speaking after the polls had closed on Tuesday, Alan Doss, the head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) said he was pleased with what he had seen on election day.

“I witnessed a run-off election that was conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner,” he told reporters.

Some of the 300 international observers, including the European Union and the Carter Centre, are due to release their preliminary reports from Thursday onwards.

Aside from the fraud allegations, Weah’s campaign team has also accused Liberia’s electoral chief of bias against him and demanded she step down.

George Weah - ©  IRIN
Frances Johnson-Morris rebuked Weah in public on polling day for saying that he had really won the first round of the ballot, held on 11 October, by a big enough margin to make a run-off unnecessary.

“The comments… are nothing less than a smear campaign against Ambassador Weah intended to undermine his victory in the presidential elections,” Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change party said in a statement.

Johnson-Morris rejected the accusations.

“I have been more than impartial. I have played my role… as head of this commission and I will continue to play my role,” she told a news conference.

As the bickering unrolled in front of the world’s media, some residents in the capital Monrovia, which is still without running water and mains electricity more than two years after the war ended, were clear about their priorities.

“All we want is peace,” said 37-year-old Beatrice Reeves.

© IRIN - This article appeared originally on IRIN News.org and is published by engelund.dk according a general agreement. To view the original article, please click here.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is a project of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]



Spændende opløb

Tordag morgen (10.nov.) kl. 09.00 var situationen en relativ komfortabel føring til Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

E. Johnson-Sirleaf (UP)
      293,363  -  56.4%
George Weah (CDC)
      227,244  -  43.6%

Valgdeltagelsen er foreløbig opgjort til 62,6% mod 74,9% under første runde af valget.

Se det seneste resultat
fra optællingen her: Election result page
Her findes også resultatet
fra første runde samt
fra parlamentsvalget



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Opdateret d. 10.11.2005