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Blogs: Liberia Elections 2011 Daily News Review (may To July)
Liberia Elections 2011 News Review - 13th July 2011
Wednesday 13th July 2011
Campaign Turf Wars
Conspiracies & Rivalries over Money

The American lawyer was utterly surprised when his phone rang to answer questions about a document being his name on elections in Liberia.
Attorney Larry Gibson, a player in President Ellen Sirleaf’s 2005 victory, was polite and calm as he emphatically stated that he has “not paid any attention to Liberian politics” since 2005 when he was strategist for Mrs. Sirleaf.
He has other things on his mind, the key one being a book on the famous American Supreme Court Association Justice Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993), with a September deadline, he said.
He said he has not been in Liberia since 2009, let alone conduct a poll.
“I am flattered,” he responded when asked why anyone would link him to what now appears to be a false poll. “Total fiction” he added.
New Democrat

NDC-NPP Divorce Likely

The National Democratic Coalition (NDC) in which the National Patriotic party (NPP) and the New Deal Movement are the leading partners is on rough water and set to sink, one of its Executives said.
Leading NPP official, Bong County Representative George Mulbah, says the marriage is virtually over with the suspension of Ambassador Dew Mayson, elected as the New Deal’s presidential candidate and expected to be endorsed by the NDC, now expelled from the New Deal.
Speaking in Bong County, Mr. Mulbah hinted crossing over to the Unity Party, but only if he is allowed to play a frontline role, thus, justifying speculations that many members of the NDC are set to cross carpet, some to the UP and others to the Congress for Democratic Change o the Liberty Party.
With the NDC convention scheduled this week, Mr. Mulbah said that Mr. Mayson, the prime financier and moving force behind the NDC is ‘frustrated’.
“I will not encourage the National Patriotic Party to follow a group of people that will be heading for defeat”, he said.
New Democrat

The Mayson Deflection

News of his presidential ambition came almost as a surprise owing to his earlier staunch support of then presidential candidate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The success of Sirleaf’s campaign in 2005 is greatly accredited to Dew Mayson engineering its financial backing that led to Sirleaf’s overtaking of soccer legend George Weah in the second round of the 2005 elections.
Now embarking on his own presidential quest, Mayson is drawing criticisms from within his own party amid a recent wave of defections from some of his closest advisors.
In recent weeks, reports have heightened over the former diplomat’s reluctance to expand his range and raise Diaspora financial support has led to something that is gradually weakening the initial jest that had greeted his presidential ambition over the last few months.
Mayson has come under fire amid reports and concerns among his core supporters that he has not infused cash in his own campaign as he reportedly did for Sirleaf in 2005. Complicating matters, is concern among some that Mayson is believed that to have raised an unspecified amount of money overseas for his campaign but has not trickled it down to his cause for the presidency.
Front Page Africa

THE EMAIL; THE ELECTIONS AND LARRY GIBSON (Editorial)

Last Friday, Front page Africa came in 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.
The communication dated 07/06/11 declared the following: Busted! Busted! President Sirleaf and UP have resolved to rig the elections since majority of the Electorates no longer have trust and confidence in their leadership. I got this from an inside in the UP. Can you believe that these people widenceant to steal this election? What do they mean by ‘connections at NEC’?
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 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 other 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 ‘toll 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”.
Front page Africa
BATTLE FOR GRAND BASSA
Simeon Freeman, Ellen Neck To Neck on Opinion Poll Conducted by Radio Gbezohn, While Brumskine Goes on the Edge for the First Time since the 2005 Elections
The standard bearer of the opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), Simeon Freeman was said to be a smiling man at the weekend when he got the news that he had gone neck to neck on two separate occasions with incumbent leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf following an opinion poll conducted by Radio Gbezohn.
Freeman, who is just throwing his nets for the nation’s top post for the first time, came on par with the Unity Party standard bearer in the port city giving many supporters of the ruling party a surprise, and forci9ng them to take a keen glance at the chances of UP in Grand Bassa County.
Freeman, according to a resident of Buchanan, is becoming a household name in Grand Bassa County, and has toppled Cllr. Charles Brumskine of the Liberty party (LP) the man who won most of the votes in the port city during the 2005 general and presidential elections. Brumskine finished third during the 2005 polls.
The reports suggest that Brumskine has for the first time since the end of the last general elections loose grip of the port city. Buchanan is largely considered the Liberty Party’s stronghold and remained so until a latest opinion poll suggesting that callers in Buchanan have preferred Freeman’s MPC to Brumskine’s LP.
Front Page Africa

‘FASCINATING, TOTALLY FICTITIOUS’

Strategist Larry Gibson Denies Role in pre-Liberian Elections Projections
Larry Gibson of the University of Maryland said he has not been to Liberia since 2009 and could not have done such analysis.The American professor at the center of what is becoming a pre-election scandal in Liberia says he played no role in preparing a pre-election analysis for the ruling Unity party of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The online Liberian publication Front page Africa reported over the weekend that Larry Gibson, a Law Professor at the University of Maryland prepared a pre-election analysis for the ruling party that it faces a tall order in the coming October elections and that the party should keep its connections at the National Elections Commission.
Gibson, who admits he did some work for the 2005 election campaign of then candidate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said he did not do any poll analysis for the October elections.
Front Page Africa

Jonathan Mayson Team Outlines Platform
The Jonathan Mason for President Campaign team has released the platform upon which he intends to rally for votes as the presidential elections of 2011 draws near.
Mr. Mason who will be contesting for the Liberian presidency on the ticket of the union of Liberian Democrats (ULD) told a news conference in Monrovia yesterday that his platform is based on six pillars intended to uplift the people of Liberia and the nation as a whole.
The Inquirer

James Chelley Party Sure of Victory

Mr. Chelley wants to be called ‘President!’ The former Senator for Montserrado County was unanimously elected when the Original Congress party (OCP) held its convention in Gardnersville outside Monrovia in April 2011 three months after it was certificated by the National Elections Commission on December 15, 2010.
“The Liberian presidential field is very over flown with different objectives and promise, so beware of these promises,” said a release from the OCP’s USA branch last Thursday.
According to the release, “the country needs candidates like Honorable James K. Chelley; he is an honorable man with integrity and respect for human rights. Electing him as the next President will bring Liberia into the 21st Century and continued the Democratic process”.
The OCP is on the horizon to capture the presidency and some “congressional seats”, the release said stating “our country is suffering in the hand of corrupt officials and under developed.
The Inquirer

How State’s Coffers are Being ‘Dumped to UP’

The ruling Unity Party (UP) continues to deny claims that it is using state resources for its political campaign. However, what observers, analysts and pundits see as evidences, are emerging gradually with the opening of the political campaign, with the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), turning to one of UP functionaries.
MCC, especially under the leadership of Madam Mary Broh, continues to receive commendations for giving Monrovia and its environs facelift. But it appears that the MCC’s operations are being engulfed by UP campaign activities. During the opening program of the UP National Campaign Headquarters on Saturday, July 9, 2011, employees of the MCC, led by mayor Broh were seen in action giving the compound a facelift as if it was a public building, while several public buildings, while several public buildings remain in ruins around Monrovia.
The occasion was scheduled for 1 pm, and as a result, other partisans, observers and journalists arrived before time, but began to wonder when ‘General Broh’, as she is called by most of her admirers, and her team were seen cleaning, planting flowers and white washing the facilities. The UP national campaign office is the building which used to house the Ministry of Agriculture at the beach side of 19th Street in Sinkor.
In Profile Daily

‘Not To Import Ministers If…’
-Rev. Sandy Vows
Rev. Kennedy Sandy has vowed not to import ministers from America to come and work in Liberia, if he is elected during the forthcoming elections.
Rev Sandy who is standard bearer of the Liberia Transformation Party (LTP) made the statement during the launch of the party held at its headquarters in Congo Town opposite Lone Star Company over the weekend.
He said there are people in the country that can do the job, or should be trained on the job.
Speaking to reporters during the ceremony, he said there is a need to build self-institution rather than depending on people that are prepared already to come and take the country money away to another developing nation that does not need Liberia’s money.
In Profile Daily

MCC, UP Solidarity Hidden Facts Exposed (Editorial)

Thank God National campaign intended for the 2011 general and presidential elections has finally been opened, even though with backwardness in satisfying the calendar of events at the disgust of well-schooled and constitutionally enlightened Liberians.
All along claims and counter claims about gross misuse of state resources including finances have only been matters of affiliates of the ruling unity Party and staunch supporters of opposition political parties entertaining the war-wrecked and poverty-stricken citizenry until today the hidden facts are beginning to be exposed.
A remarkable instant of the usage of state resources or better still, tax payers money was unknowingly exposed on Saturday, July 9th at the formal opening ceremony of UP’s National Campaign Headquarters at the former Agriculture Ministry on 19th street Sinkor. The occasion truly exposed the ruling unity party and Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) solidarity and the impression it gave that the Ellen-Broh’s connection remains unwaivering.
Whatever the arrangement might have been, the occasion was not any state function that necessitated the use of public asset, since indeed it was a political party’s initiative. As far as the public is concerned, equipment donated to MCC which are being controlled by Acting Monrovia City Mayor Broh was not provided, no matter whose contacts paved the way, to be used for any campaign purposes. It can be put to bet that MCC wo7uld not have provided this sort of service to any opposition camp.
In profile Daily

Campaign Promises In Full swing

-As CDC Vows To make Corruption Arch Enemy
The Opposition Congress for democratic Change is one of the several political parties that is doing everything by any means possible to dethrone the Unity Party and has instantly started the process with big campaign promises to the Liberian people.
CDC Secretary General Acarous Gray told group of university students on the main campus of the University of Liberia on Capitol Hill on Monday, July 11, that when the party becomes successful through in its bid, it will make corruption as its arch enemy that will be fought energetically for its elimination within the Liberian society.
Mr. Gray told the University students that under a CDC led government, corruption will be complete enemy, and that the government will additionally make the menace a non bailable offense within the public sector.
Women Voices
Powerful Thirsty Lawmakers Re-election Bids Tainted
As LDI makes public Gloomy picture on their Individual Performance
As the race to the 2011 General elections heats up with almost all of the lawmakers vying for re-election, a pro democracy group, under the banner the “Liberia Democratic Institute” (LDI) has released its final legislative Report Card of the 52nd National Legislature covering the period of 2010 with legislators from both Houses performing dismally to the disbelief of the Liberian people who elected them.
The LDI 2010 Legislative Report Card takes into consideration the three main responsibilities of Lawmakers including the Representation, Oversight and Lawmaking.
Women Voices

“Referendum Is An Absolute Necessity”

..Media Group Wants Electorate Vote Yes
The Chairman of the Board of Director of Media United to Enhance Democracy Jeremiah Garwo Sokan says amending the constitution incrementally through the pending referendum is an absolute necessity.
Media United to Enhance Democracy is an advocacy group with a mission to promote democratic tenets, advocate for politics and support initiatives to enhance social-economic, cultural and political development of the country.
The group Board Chairman Sokan said the organization has commenced a campaign of mobilization, awareness and solicitation in favor of the referendum.
The News

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