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Blogs: Liberia Elections Editorial
The Email; The Elections And Larry Gibson
Wednesday 13th July 2011
In this, Front Page Africa editorial, the paper reports that they came into possession of an email communication under the header Confidential Political Analysis for EJS. The communication closed with the following message: Elva, please give this attached analysis to the President, as we discussed. I have also sent a copy to Robert Sirleaf and Amara Konneh. Best regards, Larry. The attachment to the email included a purported analysis detailing three scenarios which the ruling party could win the first round of the upcoming presidential and legislative elections.

The analysis which appears to be the handiwork of Gibson, a campaign strategist who was instrumental in propelling incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to victory in 2005, presidential race, outlines three scenarios for the ruling Unity party: A ‘Best Case’ scenario has the UP winning by 47.2 percent in the first round, a ‘Most Likely Case’ has the UP winning by 37.7 percent in the first round and worst case scenario pointing to a 28.3 percent first victory. Two of the three scenarios suggest that there will definitely be a second round. In order for a candidate to win on the first round ballot, they must secure 50+1 percent.

Front page Africa upon receipt of the communication made several contacts within the ruling Unity Party and even forwarded the communication to several executives within the ruling party alerting them to what we had come across and seeking a response.

In the days following the publications of the communication detailing the purported Gibson analysis, several media outlets have come out with various rebuttals and denials. Gibson, from whose email the document originated, has also come out to deny authoring the document and Varney Sherman, head of the ruling party has also dismissed suggestions that his party had a role to play in the preparations of the documents or attempts to steal the elections. Counselor Sherman also dismissed suggestions that the ruling party had a connection at the National Elections Commission.

Sherman’s denial and Gibson’s insistence that he had no role to play in authoring of the document were in response to perhaps the most damaging footnote attached at the bottom of the document which read: “We have to ensure that we get Prince Johnson, Dew Mayson and others on the UP side during the second round. We have crunched the numbers for the Liberty Party and CDC; they looked strong in the first round. If UP can meet the “Most Likely Case”, we could be in second round. But risk everything if we are in the worst case scenario, as Liberty Party and CDC could also trump UP and UP will not make it to second round. This election will be a ‘tall order’ and we should not take any chances. We have to keep our connections at NEC. Again, the stakes are high in these elections. We have done quite a lot of work with folks in the counties and districts to refine these figures. So they are pretty reasonably tested”.

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