Early Liberia Election Tally Suggests Run-off Vote Likely

Posted October 13th, 2011 at 3:45 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Partial results from Liberia's presidential election show incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the lead, but falling short of the majority needed to avoid a run-off election.

The partial results released by Liberia's election commission Thursday showed Mrs. Sirleaf with about 44 percent of the vote. Her closest rival, Winston Tubman, had about 26 percent.

Tallies showed former rebel leader and current Senator Prince Johnson in third place with 13 percent.

A candidate needs more than 50 percent of the vote to win outright. The run-off election, if necessary, would be held November 8. A VOA reporter in Liberia says many Liberians are speculating Johnson may help decide the ultimate winner when he chooses which of the two front-runners to endorse.

The early results were compiled from 16 percent of Liberia's nearly 4,500 polling stations. Final results are not expected until October 26.

The vote Tuesday was the country's second national elections since the end of a 14-year civil war in 2003.

It came just days after President Sirleaf won the Nobel Peace Prize. Critics have questioned the timing of last Friday's announcement of the Nobel prize, which President Sirleaf won along with two other women. They say it could provide her with an unfair boost.

The U.S.-based Carter Center said Friday Liberia's election was “peaceful, orderly and remarkably transparent,” although it noted some minor irregularities.