AFRICA/LIBERIA - Voting in Liberia for the election of the President and the renewal of the House and Senate

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Monrovia (Agenzia Fides) - Urns are open today, October 11th in Liberia for the three elections involving the election of the President, senators and deputies. The voters are 1.8 million, while there are 16 candidates for the position of Head of State, including the outgoing President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (together with another Liberian, the pacifist Leymah Gbowee and the Yemeni activist for democracy Tawakkul Barman).
"Most Liberians have welcomed with joy the award of the Nobel Prize to two Liberian members, but there were strong arguments by the opposition parties who saw the award of the outgoing President as an interference in the elections. In fact the award was announced three days before the elections" a source of the local church from the capital, Monrovia tells Fides.
"During radio programs several critical voices were heard on the advisability of the award, but we understand that these criticisms are also the result of a complex moment on the eve of the election. A good part of the Liberians, however, consider it an honor to have received not one but two Nobel prizes", said the source of Fides.
The voting operations have began in a peaceful manner, with the assistance of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (MINUL). "The operations of the vote count will probably be slowed down by heavy rains that have not stopped in the Country. Once the count has been carried out at a local level, the ballot boxes from all over Liberia in Monrovia will be sent to the election committee’s office for a recount control. Although the helicopters will be used to reach remote areas, the road conditions in Liberia, especially in case of rain, will cause traffic delays in the re-count operations" foresees the source of Fides. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 11/10/2011)