On Tuesday, Liberians go to the polls to elect their next President. Incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is facing strong opposition from Harvard educated Winston Tubman and soccer sensation George Weah. Mr. Weah previously failed to win because of his lack of education. Since then he has received a degree from DeVry University and opted to run as second in command for the Congress for Democratic Change.
Even though most Liberians are happy that their President has been acknowledged by the Nobel committee it does not affect how they feel at home. Unemployment is currently at 80%, most buildings destroyed during the war remain unrepaired and the health system is still unable to reduce the high rates of infant mortality. President Johnson Sirleaf can be credited for campaigning to have all national debt wiped off and ensuring that peace prevails in this war-torn country. However there still exists some questions about her connection with Dictator Charles Taylor.
The man expected to beat President Sirleaf is the Cambridge and Harvard educated Winston Tubman. He is a career diplomat who has served in government and with the United Nations. In the previous election in 2005, Mr. Tubman placed fourth with about 9.2% of the vote. Just last week Mr. Tubman openly declared that President Johnson Sirleaf was a ‘warmonger’ who has been using her position to promote her self interests.
George Weah spent 14 years of his professional football career playing for clubs in France, Italy, and England, and won trophies in each of these three countries. In 1995, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year, and African Footballer of the Year. Weah has since become a humanitarian and politician in Liberia, and ran unsuccessfully in the 2005 Liberian presidential election, losing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting. We hope that Liberians will remain peaceful throughout the voting process so that Democracy prevails.
Courtesy of Lillian Mhosva 2011
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