Liberia’s Johnson Sirleaf Leading in Early Election Tally

Posted October 13th, 2011 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

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

Liberia's election commission said Thursday that Mrs. Sirleaf has won about 42 percent of the vote, with her closest rival Winston Tubman at about 25 percent.

Final results are not expected until October 26. A candidate needs more than 50 percent of the vote to win outright.

The run-off election, if necessary, would be held November 8.

The independent Liberia Media Center says its unofficial results — compiled from tallies posted at voting centers — showed President Sirleaf with a smaller lead of 44 to 36 percent.

Both the official and unofficial results showed senator Prince Johnson running third with at least 10 percent of the vote.

Liberians also voted in legislative elections Tuesday. It was the country's second national election since the end of a 14-year civil war in 2003.

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

Mrs. Sirleaf is facing a tough fight for a second term, just days after receiving 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.