Liberia Prepares for Elections: Liberians Are Readying Themselves for Elections in October. after the Recent Nationwide Voter-Registration Exercise, the Country's Politicians Are Positioning Themselves for the Hard Campaign Ahead. Jim Dargbo Reports from Monrovia
Dargbo, Jim, New African
NOW THAT LIBERIA'S VOTER registration exercise is over, the country's politicians are trying to cut deals and form alliances in readiness for the elections fixed for October this year. Foremost among them is George Weah, the leader of the leading opposition party, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and the losing presidential candidate in the 2005 elections. He has been reported to have made overtures to the ruling Unity Party (UP) of incumbent President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
After narrowly losing in 2005, Weah left to study in the USA. He returned in 2009 and held talks with several opposition leaders, including Winston Tubman of the Liberia National Union (LINU), and Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party. The talks led, in June 2009, to an agreement signed in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, by Weah's CDC and Tubman's LINU to collaborate and run on one ticket. But the merger fell on the rocks, allegedly because Weah did not meet his side of the bargain. Tubman disclosed on 18 January this year that the terms of the merger included an agreement for him to be the presidential candidate and Weah the running mate.
In February this year the two men renewed their merger and announced that Tubman had abandoned his party (LINU) to move to Weah's camp. Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, chairperson of Weah's CDC, who confirmed the announcement, said with Tubman now becoming a key member of the CDC, his supporters would augment the numerical strength of the CDC. But soon after Doe-Sheriff's announcement, news came that Weah was yet again making overtures to President Johnson-Sirleaf and holding talks behind closed doors with her. …