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Blogs: Liberia Elections 2011 Daily News Review
Liberia Elections 2011 Daily News Review- 30th August, 2011
Tuesday 30th August 2011

Monrovia, 30th August, 2011: The Insight newspaper reports that, Referendum Plagued By Huge Invalid Votes. According to the paper,chairman of the National Elections Commission is expressing concern about the large number of invalid votes in last week’s constitutional referendum. “As we speak, we have results just about from everywhere now with exception of parts of Montserrado County, and Nimba County. These are the ones that are outstanding from the 617 polling places that have not yet been checked, “he said.

 As electioneering heats up, the Insight carries the story, MYS Sensitizes Youth To Shun Election Violence. With political parties vigorously canvassing for votes in all parts of Liberia, one thing youth development experts here fear and want avoided is politician’s luring young people into perpetrating acts of violence during and after the polls. Toward this end, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) assembled more than 300 university students, from among participating youth in this year’s National Vacation Job program, to attend a two day intensive refresher workshop it organized, in collaboration with WIPSEN-Africa, an implementing partner of the Ministry.

 The In Profile Daily also carries the story, “Stop Electoral Violence Against Women”-PPS Urged. According to the paper, a human rights group Media on Women Human Rights (MOHW) is calling on all political parties to stop electoral; violence against women in the 20111 general and presidential elections. The group has also demanded the passage of the Gender Equity Bill by the 52nd Legislature. Speaking yesterday at the Press Union of Liberia headquarters on Clay Street, Monrovia, the Executive Director of MOHW, Hawa Andrew Collins, said Liberian women continue to suffer from various forms of violence for their rights due to the formulation of discriminatory law, practices and policies.

 Senator Prince Johnson Standard Bearer of the National Union for Democratic Progress has said the results of the just ended National Referendum have the propensity to cause chaos in the country, the Heritage newspaper reports in a story, PYJ Predicts Post Referendum Chaos. According to him, a result in support or against the referendum will exclude major political actors from contesting the ensuing presidential and legislative elections.

 Create Peaceful Environment For Elections, Gongloe Urges Liberian Journalists. The Heritage newspaper reports that, Former Labor Minister Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe has called on Liberians to exhibit high degree of professionalism in the discharge of their assigned task. According to Cllr. Gongloe, the maintenance of peace and stability in Liberia primarily lies in the hands of the media, and henceforth, it must do all it can for Liberia to move forward.

 According to the Parrot, Ahead of 2011 Litmus Test, Opposition Parties Alarm Denial To Public Facilities. TheEven in Greece a country known as the mother of democracy, the United States of America that is being viewed as the world’s chief implementer of democracy and in India, the world’s largest democracy, opposition political parties are tolerably treated with kind gesture by status quo in those countries with public facilities always at their disposal whenever the need arises, but it appears the reverse is in present day Liberia where the country’s 3.5M people can account for more than 20 political parties. As Liberian are now gearing up for the country’s second post war multi party general and presidential elections, Liberian opposition political parties say they  are extremely finding it difficult to obtain permit concerning the usage of public facilities in some counties something if allowed, to flourish will seriously pose a threat the Liberia’s fledgling democracy.

 The New Democrat in a story headline, AU, ECOWAS Observers Set, reports that, saying the constitutional referendum held on August 23, 2011 in Liberia was “free, transparent, democratic and met international standards,” the observer’s mission from the African Union Civil Society has urged all political stakeholders to “respect its verdict”. “The mission urges all Liberian political actors to respect the verdict of the polls, and in case of contestation, to resort only to legal means,” the spokesman of the mission, Mr.  Charles Lawson, told a press conference here Thursday.

 New Democrat also reports that, President Denies Ambush Claim. Media reports suggesting that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf aborted a tour of Nimba County last weekend due to a planned ambush have been denied. The local media reported here on Monday that President Sirleaf aborted her visit to NImba due to a planned ambush by an invading force from neighbor Cote d’ Iviore. But Presidential Press Secretary Cyrus Badio, in a briefing with journalist here Monday, refuted the claims, saying, “the trip was postponed top allow President to adequately prepare” for the visit.

 With 99.1% of the total votes from the just ended National Referendum already in, FrontPage Africa reports that, it is increasingly clear that only Proposition 4 seeking that “except for the presidential election, legislative candidates will only be required to acquire the most votes instead of more than half the votes” has reached the required votes needed to pass it. The story with headline, Thumbs-Up For Proposition 4, also contains that the referendum seeks to amend Article 83 (b) which says, except for the presidential election, legislative candidates will only be required to acquire the most votes instead of more than half the votes resulting into a change from absolute majority to simple majority.

 A new wave of political violence prevalence in neighbourhood countries appears to be surfacing in Liberia, with a Representative Candidate of Montserrado County District no. 5, narrowly escaping a petrol bomb attack. Providing details to the event, the Daily Observer in a story headlined, Candidate Escapes Bomb Attack reports that, Alexander Suah, who is running on the ticket of the ruling Unity Party was reported to be a target of a petrol bomb blast that occurred in Paynesville on August 28, 2011 while he was going home, witnesses told our reporter. Mr. Suah who is also President General of the Federation of Road Transport Union of Liberia told the Daily Observer yesterday, that while on his way home from central Monrovia at about 10 PM, he saw a motorcycle behind his car on a narrow that leads to his residence in Paynesville. Suah said a jeep without license plate was along the road at the same time, and in a moment, he saw group of men from the vehicle who demanded that he got out of his vehicle. Mr. Suah said, sensing danger, he forced his way out and began shouting for rescue. As some community members where he was attacked, Mr. Suah explained that the unknown men threw the petrol bomb into his vehicle and speedily fled the area.

 The New Dawn in a story headlined, resounding “NO”, As Opposition Claim Victory, the paper reports that, it is now increasingly clear that the attainment of a two thirds majority from  any of the four propositions in the recent National Referendum is far fetch with 4,418 polling places or 99.1% of the total votes cast yet unable to see any of the propositions receiving a two-thirds vote to effect an amendment in the Liberian Constitution. The emerging figures have prompted the opposition to begin claiming victory in the absence of an official result yet to be declared by the National Elections Commission or NEC.

We end with an Inquirer story that says, Yes Votes Still Lead. Provisional results from the just ended national Referendum has again revealed that the ‘YES’ votes is still leading for propositions one and four. Announcing the 4th installment of the provisional results of the referendum, National Elections Commission Chairman, James Fromayan disclosed that the provisional results were gathered from 4,418 polling centers representing 99.1% of the polling places. He said the total votes reported stand at 60,769 voter’s turnout. Fromoyan noted that only 39 polling places are yet to report.

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

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