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Liberia Elections 2011 News Review - 12th July 2011
Tuesday 12th July 2011
Free, Fair & Transparent Presidential Elections Less Likely
…Declares Brumskine

The standard bearer of the Opposition Liberty Party (LP), Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, has declared that it is less likely that the ensuing presidential elections will be free, fair and transparent. According to Cllr. Brumskine, the current  configuration of the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) cannot allow for free elections.
Speaking Monday when he appeared on the Truth Breakfast Show, Cllr. Brumskine questioned the legality of the Seven-Member Board of Commissioners at NEC.
But the head of the NEC, Cllr. James Fromayan, had persistently stated that the Commission is credible and capable of conducting free, fair and transparent elections owing to the several bi elections it conducted in the country.
Heritage

Mysterious Emails Saga
Mansions: Lies, Fabrications

The Office of the President has described as lies and ‘mere fabrications’ what observers have described as a ‘mysterious email’ that discloses purported secret campaign strategies of the Ruling Unity Party sent to the Liberian leader by one of her campaign strategists of 2005.
The purported email content, among others, spoke of the UP’s 2005 ‘connection’ and ;contact’ at National Elections Commission (NEC), and hinted at bringing over NUDP’s political leader Prince Y. Johnson and Dew Mayson and others to the ruling Unity Party if there is a runoff in the October or November elections this year.
In its first round of the election analysis, the email noted that the Best case would be for UP to win 848,185 votes (47.2%) of the total numbers of voters registered (1,798,077) by NEC.
The Informer

UP Connection at NEC Revealed
--But Ellen Denies
A confidential report analyzing the forthcoming presidential elections in Liberia has revealed that the ruling Unity party has an insider at the National Elections Commission.
The reports appear to be work of Larry Gibson, a campaign strategist who was influential in helping to propel Ellen to victory in 2005. The reports also revealed a suggestion by Mr. Gibson that ruling Unity Party should keep its connection at the National Elections Commission.
According to Gibson, the ruling Unity party will most likely face a second round battle but would need the support of two of its opponents to secure victory in the second round.
The report named former warlord Prince Johnson, who is a presidential candidate and professor Dew Mayson, currently under suspension by officials of his party.
The News

Brumskine ‘Indicts’ Ellen for Taylor’s War Crimes Trial

Says No Reprisal
Liberty Party’s Charles Brumskine is blaming President Sirleaf for cooperating with the international community in the arrest of former President Charles Taylor, leading to his prosecution for alleged war crimes committed in neighboring Sierra Leone.
The UN-backed Sierra Leone court indicted Mr. Taylor as one of those bearing the ‘greatest responsibility’ for crimes committed in that country’s war. But the Liberty Party Presidential candidate and former President Pro Tempore at the Senate in Mr. Taylor’s government, speaking in Nimba County where Mr. Taylor’s rebellion was ignited and lasted for 14 years with an estimated 300,000 people killed, told his partisans and sympathizers that: “I will not put her Madam Sirleaf in jail. I will not do to her as she did to Taylor…I will pension and provide her security so that Liberia will at least have a former president who can drive around her country in peace”.
New Democrat

Pastors Gear up for Ellen’s Campaign

A group of Christian ministers and other clerics has expressed its determination to help vigorously campaign throughout the country for the re-election of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Under the banner of Association of Christian Ministers for Ellen’s Re-election (ACMER), the clerics said, Madam Sirleaf deserves re-election for the multiple development programs her administration has implemented nationwide and for safely captaining the Liberian ship of state in the past five years towards a peaceful and progressive course.
Speaking at a well, organized program over the week in the vote rich New Kru Town on Bushrod Island in Monrovia, the pastors said they were ready to leave their respective pulpits to campaign for President Sirleaf.
Daily Observer

With Use of Abundant Resources: UP Vows Victory in First Round

The ruling Unity Party (UP) of which President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the standard bearer has vowed to win 50 plus one percent of the total valid votes which would be cast in the 2011 presidential general elections. At least 29 registered political parties are poised to participate in the elections with most of them determine to put forward presidential and other candidates.
Addressing thousands of UP supporters over the weekend at the formal opening of the party’s campaign Headquarters in Sinkor, Monrovia, UP National Chairman, Cllr. H. Varney Sherman, disclosed that the party would effectively utilize it’s available resources to ensure its resounding victory in the first round of the national elections.
Daily Observer

VOTE THE PHAROAHS OUT

-CDC Gray urges UL students
It is not clear whether the opposition kingpin, the Congress for Democratic Change, has begun its 2011 presidential and legislative campaigns, but already, its stalwarts are nibbling at the ruling Unity party.
One of the I CDC secretary general Acarous Gray; he is warning voters the re-electing President Sirleaf is like affirming the rule of the pharaohs and sending Liberians to the proverbial Egypt, consigning them to perpetual hardship.
The Analyst

STAY AWAY OR VOTE NO

Former TRC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Verdier, says the August 23, 2011 National Constitutional Referendum does not worth the while of the Liberian people, besides being an ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘illegitimate’ imposition on the Liberian people.
He is therefore calling on voters to defeat the referendum either by staying away on August 23, or turning out but vote ‘NO” on all four propositions for amendment.
The referendum is proposing to amend the residency clause, the retirement age for justices of the Supreme Court, the national Elections Day from October to November, and the absolute majority rule for all elective posts to simple majority rule for legislative posts.
The Analysts

CDC Storms Grand Gedeh

As part of its political campaign, the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) over the weekend stormed Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County, in what was termed as an acquaintance visit intended to dedicate the party’s headquarters in the county. Grand Gedeh is located in southeastern Liberia and one of the strongholds of CDC during the 2005 elections, in which the party swept the runoff.
A team of officials of the party headed by the National Chairman and Montserrado County Junior Senator, Madam Geraldine Doe Sheriff, was graced by hundreds of citizens, who led a parade through the principal streets of Zwedru, chanting CDC slogans and songs in support of the party.
In profile Daily

‘Vote No to All’

-Verdier Urges Liberians
This is a call to all Liberians not to participate pr vote in the so called August 2011 Constitutional; Referendum organized by the National Elections Commission (NEC), said Cllr. Jerome Verdier, the former chairman of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission in a statement.
However, Cllr. Verdier is urging Liberians to vote against all four propositions proposed in the referendum if they will exercise their right to participate. He said: “If however you have to participate in exercise of your right to vote, then I am urging you to vote No on all of the four propositions submitted by the Government of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf”.
In Profile Daily

NEC/UNDP EMPOWER FEMALE ASPIRANTS TO CONTEST 2011 ELECTIONS

Gender mainstreaming in political decision making and participation in all strata of leadership in the political arrangement of Liberia has attracted serious attention of late and now been put on the table form open discussion.
As a sequel to a number of other initiatives aimed at catapulting women issues from the backburner to the forefront of political discussion, the National Elections Commission in collaboration with the International Alert conducted a three day training workshop for potential female aspirants for elected office.
The forum which was held under the theme: “Empowering Female Aspirants for a Competitive Bid in the 2011 Elections”, brought together two representatives from all the registered political parties in Liberia.
Front page Africa

‘NO NEC CONNECTION’

UP Chairman Denies ‘Connections’ to NEC; Plot to Steal Liberia’s Elections Monrovia Unity Party chairman Varney Sherman says suggestions of any connection to the elections commission are intended to smear the party.
The chairman’s of Liberia’s ruling party Varney Sherman, denied the party has connections with the National Elections Commission.
The denial followed an article in the online version of the Front page Africa which reported that US based strategist indentified as Larry Gibson warned the party in an analysis that its chances in the October elections will be a tall order and we should not take any chances. We have to keep our connections at NEC”.
Front page Africa

This daily news  review is compiled by African Elections Project (AEP) and the LMC media monitoring service, Monvrovia, Liberia.
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