Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Round Two

The Liberian presidential election was held Tuesday, October 11. Because of Liberia's past history of unrest and violence, the U.N maintained a formidable presence throughout Monrovia. The memory of Ivory Coast's ugly election situation just one year ago also had the U.N. very vigilant. Armored personnel carriers were positioned at the president's residence and near the U.N. building and at other key locations. Foreign embassies beefed up their security. Police manned major intersections and cops in full riot gear were present at all rallies and marches.

But all in all, it was rather peaceful. A party headquarters was burned to the ground and a radio station had a home made bomb tossed through a window. The chairman of one political party had his car burned one night. But, really, all in all, the marches and rallies and parades were without the mayhem and violence that had been feared.
It took a full week before the official results were announced, and no candidate received a majority of the vote. This was not totally unexpected. There were sixteen people running for president! Kind of hard to get fifty-one percent of the vote with the votes being split between so many candidates!

A run-off vote is scheduled for November 8 between the two top vote-getting candidates: President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and challenger Winston Tubman. The run-off is being called "Round Two". The U.N. personnel are still at their stations, and the police are still out in full force. Here we go again!