Liberia President Sirleaf Cleared for Re-Election Bid

Posted October 5th, 2011 at 3:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been cleared to run for re-election in next week's presidential poll, despite failing to meet the constitution's residency requirement.

The Liberian Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a case against Sirleaf, her main challenger Winston Tubman, and five other top candidates.

Liberia's constitution says candidates must be a resident in the country for 10 years prior to a vote. Many politicians left Liberia during 14 years of civil war and unrest that ended in 2003. But the high court ruled that the residency requirement could not be applied during the civil war.

A lawyer for the group that brought the case told VOA he was surprised and that he disagrees with the decision, but he said he would have to accept it.

The suit was brought by a small opposition party, Liberia's Movement for Progressive Change.

President Sirleaf was elected in the country's first post-war polls in 2005.

The next election is scheduled for October 11. If no candidate wins more than half the vote, a second-round runoff will take place in November.