Liberia’s Ruling Party Sacks Johnson Sirleaf over anti-party
Liberia’s ruling Unity Party is still nursing the wounds of its defeat by the opposition party led by George Weah. The Unity Party is pointing accusing finger at President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, saying she refused to support its standard bearer and Vice President, Joseph Boakai.
Accusation against Sirleaf became thick after Weah won the first round of the presidential election in October last year but failed to meet up with the 50% win required for outright winning. A group of Unity party members had alleged then that Sirleaf was not only indifferent to who wins but also was secretly supporting opposition, Weah.
The outgoing denied the accusation saying she did not want to interfere in the mandate of the electoral commission.
However, after the clear win by Weah in December, the Unity Party voted on Saturday night and expelled the country’s outgoing president. Boakai served as Johnson Sirleaf’s vice president for 12 years.
Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was not eligible to run after serving two terms, the maximum allowed under Liberia’s constitution.
Weah won 61.5 percent of December’s presidential runoff vote and 14 of Liberia’s 15 counties.
Weah has extended hand of fellowship to opposition members, including Boakai.
Critics of Boakai, 73, accused him of doing little as Johnson Sirleaf’s vice president. Critics of Weah, 51, say he has almost no real political or governing experience.
Weah’s running mate was senator Jewel Howard-Taylor. She is the ex-wife of former rebel leader and president Charles Taylor, who sparked Liberia’s civil war in 1989 and is serving a 50-year prison sentence in Britain for his role in atrocities in Sierra Leone.
VoA says Taylor still has supporters in Liberia, and his ex-wife is credited with helping Weah win key counties in the first round of voting.
If all continues to go smoothly, Liberia will see its first peaceful and democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years.