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Blogs: Liberia Elections 2011 Daily News Review
Liberia Elections 2011 Daily News Review-27th September, 2011
Tuesday 27th September 2011

We start off with a story on the front page of The Inquirer. ThePress Union of Liberia says it is convening the largest gathering of media stakeholders this electoral season, with political parties and government officials invited to attend, this Wednesday and Thursday, September 28- 29, in Monrovia. “With Liberia being a post war conflict country, the recent escalation in rhetoric among political parties has sadly led some reporters to overlook ethical standards in journalism, with potentially dire consequences for our nation” warned Peter Quaqua, PUL’s President. Titled “Media Ethics and Conflict Sensitive Elections Reporting” the event, to be held at SKD Stadium’s conference hall, is the first of two conferences being sponsored by UNESCO that will address fair reporting and media freedom in West Africa’s Mano River Region, with Liberia being the pilot State. The story is headlined, PUL, Others to Hold Media Conference Soon.

New Democrat reports that, a purported cabinet of the Congress for Democratic Change has been formed and leaked even before the first ballot for presidential and legislative elections is cast. This paper has not been able to verify the authenticity of the list, but it includes several top members of the CDC, many of them outside the country. But the paper in a story headlined, CDC ‘Cabinet’ Leaked, George Dweh and Others Named adds that when the CDC, through its Secretary General Acarous Gray, was contacted, he thrashed the document saying, “CDC has not done any listing of cabinet ministers, the document was prepared by the Unity Party and its officials. Let the UP discuss the issue and stop this diabolical act”.

Another headline story in the New Democrat paper is Ellen Digs Deep into Nimba and ‘Captures’ Prince Johnson’s Town. The Unity Party campaign bandwagon Monday continued rolling deep into Nimba County, the second largest concentration of voters after Monrovia. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf landed in Yekepa, a town poised to start the exportation of iron this week, 20 years after the civil war forced closure of the mine. Upon landing in Bahn, hometown of opposition politician Prince Johnson, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was greeted by hundreds of admirers waving palm fronds and tree branches. Hundreds of supporters from dotted towns and villages also lined the highway to greet the campaign team and candidate Sirleaf. This is according to the paper’s correspondent covering the UP campaign rallies.

Weah to Face Justice Ministry’s Probe,  Heritage reports.The Justice Ministry says it has launched background investigations into an alleged secret deal entered into by the vice standard bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change, Ambassador George Weah and Alan White, a former prosecutor of the Special War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone in June 2010. Last week, a local daily reported that Weah and White signed an MOU to ignite conflict in Liberia should the 2011 elections go against the CDC.  But in reaction to the newspaper’s report, Weah categorically rejected the report. Describing the report as what he called the ruling Unity Party’s “dangerous game plan” in the 2011 elections to destroy and cheat the CDC in the elections.

Daily Observer this morning in an editorial, has warned candidates toEngage Your Head Before Owning Your Mouth. The paper writes that, a local newspaper last Friday quoted Counselor Winston Tubman, standard bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change, as describing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as a ‘tyrant’. He said the President has financed the civil war and accused her of using state resources “to break up opposition parties”. ‘’ What was Cllr. Tubman thinking- or was he thinking at all- when he uttered those words? The President has admitted that she initially made financial contributions to Charles Taylor’s attempt to unseat President Samuel Doe, but departed from Taylor when she came to know who Taylor really was. Does that make her a tyrant? In the past six years of her administration, who can accuse Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of any of these things? As we asked before, what was Cllr. Tubman thinking when he spoke? Did he momentarily suffer a historical introspection?

We end today’s review with a commentary in the FrontPage Africa newspaper. The paper in the commentary headlined, An Act in Infamy- the Supreme Court Decision Overturning the Referendum Results, writes that, the decision by the Supreme Court to overturn the no vote results on proposition 4 of the recently held national referendum is very sad and cannot go without comment, for it is indeed a decision with very grave implications for future national cohesion, peace and stability. The decision constitutes an act of infamy and must be resisted by all well-meaning Liberians.  To the paper, the people have spoken and their voice and decision is sacrosanct subject to change only by their hands and not by any divine circumstance let alone by a decision coming out of a hopelessly corrupt judiciary where justice is commonly known to be on sale to the highest bidder.

This daily news review is compiled by African Elections Project (AEP) Media Monitoring Center at LMC, Monvrovia, Liberia
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