Liberians vote despite protests Tubman-Waihi


09/11/2011

Liberians vote in the final round of the presidential election, despite appearing in at least a single case of death occurring during opposition protests and boycott of the requirements for termination of fraud.

The candidate of the opposition party, Winston Tubman says its embossed of votes, but the electoral commission urges Liberians to throw their ballots.

The Nobel peace laureate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female president in Africa, is currently the only candidate.

BBC reports that the strike is a little subsided, in comparison with the same as it was in the first round.

BBC reporter, Jonathan Pai Layeh of central Monrovia, said outside the polling station where he was, at the time of the vote, was attended by only eight people to cast their ballots, compared to hundreds of voting last month.

It is too early to state whether the affected people boycott, or they were afraid to go to the polls because of the violence that occurred on Monday, or the vote will move later in the day, according to the reporter.

But he argues that the re-election of Mrs. Sirleaf will be ruined if the strike would continue.

She was chosen in 2005 as the first elections since a fourteen-year civil war ended.

The international community will hold responsible those who would hinder the democratic process.

Temporary chairman of the election commission, Elizabeth Nelson, convinces people not to violate stability.

"I appeal to everybody to put Liberia above themselves. Liberia is the only place we have to call home," she said.

"We must do everything not to start a war. If you are a registered voter, go and vote."

Our reporter says that UN peacekeepers and Liberian police are looking for vehicles to enter the city, and are going to stay in strategic places - including the presidential residence - because of the violence on Monday.

Officials from the Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) said that at least four people were killed after police opened fire on supporters of violence, but this was not confirmed.

Our reporter saw one body, and three or four injured people, who confirmed that they had been shot.

Authorities refused to use live rounds, but said that the investigation will be opened.

U.S. President Barack Obama urged security forces to exercise restraint and called upon to ensure that the democratic process is respected.

"That income derived from democracy, should not be selected by people who seek to destroy the political process," he told Reuters news agency.

"The international community will be held accountable those who would hinder the democratic process"

These are the first elections organized by Liberians since ended a 14-year conflict. First organized by the United Nations, whose troops were about 8,000 still in the country.

Justice Minister Christiana Tah told the BBC that the security will be strengthened in the elections because of the violent incident. She also could not confirm the number of victims.

Our reporter says that armed police raided and shut down by storm two radio stations on Monday night. One radio station King FM, owned by former football star George Waihi and other Love FM, owned by a politician from the opposition Benoni Urey, whose National Patriotic Party (NPP) is in alliance with the CDC.

The police also tried to close the third speaker of Power-FM/TV, says our reporter.

"The police came in and held us at gunpoint from ten in the morning until ten at night - you can imagine?" Love Radio’s manager Paul Mullbah. "I do not know where we’re rolling."

Messages opposition of the four deaths in the protests Monday were not confirmed.

Manager Radio King, Alexander Bealbed said his radio station was also "closed under the gun," and he went into hiding because he was afraid of an unlawful arrest.

Manager Power-FM/TV, Aaron Collie, said his station has avoided closure, because he and his staff refused to open the door, the police arrived. The police had gone to see a large crowd gathered around the building.

The television channel Mr Colley gave broad publicity occurring violence that broke out earlier on Monday.

Mr Waihi condemned the shooting at unarmed protesters and called for elections to be postponed.

The President Sirleaf won the first round in the last month, but could not overcome the 50% threshold needed for outright victory.

Mr. Tubman and the CDC say that the election has been widespread ballot-rigging, but the charges, deny the supporters of Mrs. Sirleaf and the Election Commission.

U.S., the EU and the African Union have all condemned the decision of the opposition out of the last round.

"This is - a bad signal ... political leaders must be prepared to win or defeat," said the news agency AFP, former Vice President of Uganda and the head of an African observer mission Speyshoza Vadira Kazibwe (Speciosa Wadira Kazibwe).

Prince Johnson, a former warlord, who finished third in the first round, supported Mrs Sirleaf in the last round.

Campaigning on Sunday, Mrs. Sirleaf said: "I am sure that no one in Liberia, no talking, no one really wants to go to war."

Original: BBC


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