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Liberia: Presidential Election Runoff to be held with only Hon. Ellen Sirleaf Johnson on the ballot

It is ill-advised for the Runoff election to be conducted with only Hon. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the ballot. We encourage Hon. Sirleaf to exercise some humility and sobriety and to suspend the second round of elections while she engages main challenger Hon. Tubman in dialogue. The challenger must be reassured of the integrity of the election.

Elections are held to choose among competing alternatives for governance. There is no reason to conduct the exercise of an election when there is no challenger. That is both foolhardy and a severe waste of valuable resources for Liberia. In addition, it is a recipe to open old wounds that are slowly healing in Liberia. Democracy is not easy. If it were, all leaders would subscribe to it. Elections for the sake of the exercise does not add value to a democratic dispensation.

We encourage the US, President Obama, all development partners of Liberia, and the UN to take note of the inuring decrepitude in Liberia and insist on veritable elections to avert Liberia returning to its conflict past. We encourage ECOWAS and the AU to bear on the wise counsel of their good offices and assist Liberia in this inauspicious moment. The winner of a single-candidate presidential election cannot be a legitimate president.

Hon. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf must understand that citizens have both the right to vote OR not to to vote. The vote is an instrument to express the constitutional right of free assembly and association for religion and industry. The constitutional right of a citizen to vote is underpinned by the rights of such citizen to a free and fair election to choose their government among competing alternatives.

Libéria
Présidentielle : sans rival, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf est seule au second tour
Le second tour de l’élection présidentielle au Liberia s’est ouvert mardi 8 novembre. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf est seule en lice après l’appel au boycott de son adversaire Winston Tubman. Au moins deux partisans du candidat du Congrès pour le changement démocratique sont morts lundi lors de manifestations.Peu d’incertitudes quant à l’issue du second tour mais de vives inquiétudes entourent cependant la tenue du scrutin. Au moins deux à quatre personnes ont été tuées lundi 7 novembre à Monrovia. Un policier libérien a été arrêté par les hommes de la Minul après avoir admis avoir ouvert le feu sur les manifestants durant les incidents, a confié un inspecteur de police libérien. La Minul a fait état d’un mort et plusieurs blessés, sans en préciser le nombre.Amnesty international a demandé l’ouverture d’une enquête et a appelé à la retenue les différentes parties. Le président américain Barack Obama a, quant à lui, mis en garde contre toute tentative de « perturber » le second tour de la présidentielle, soulignant que les électeurs avaient le droit de voter librement et sans peur. Jeuneafrique.com

The Clearest Choice for Gambia in Election 2011

The Clearest Choice for Gambia in Election 2011

By former Magistrate Hon. Lamin J. Darbo
As the sun went down on the campaign period, and Gambia embraces the very eve of Election 2011, the clearest and most compelling choice for president on November 24 is Ousainu N Darboe (Ousainu) of the UDP and allied parties.
That Gambians are now full adherents of the political view that “enough is enough” is clear and palpable. And even whereas the government of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Doctor Yahya A J J Jammeh (the Professor) must have recognised this changing national mood as evidenced by recent reports of verbal attacks on Freedom Radio and its iconoclastic Editor-cum-presenter by higher echelon APRC stalwarts at campaign meetings, this  suggests the ‘no criticism’ mentality so endemic in the current establishment persists. Our nation cannot heal its deep wounds in that kind of governance climate, and genuine national healing is what we are in most need of.
The man for that task and for comprehensive national development in peace is Ousainu.
An accomplished Barrister and human rights advocate committed to a public space anchored in institutionalism and the rule of law, Ousainu has the wherewithal to usher in the requisite sanity imperative to averting the crisis of internal stability that stares Gambia in the face due mainly to the lawless propensities of the current government.
What is my evidence Ousainu will accord due fidelity to institutionalism and the rule of law?
In a two-hour dedicated conversation on political matters some two years ago in London, I asked Ousainu why he failed to grab one of the international opportunities that came his way over the years. In characteristic humility and consideration for others, he told me his leadership of the UDP caused untold suffering – arrests, detentions, disappearances, even death – for Gambian citizens. He will not walk away from those who suffered on his account in the difficult project of decapitating public lawlessness in Gambia.
I am also fully convinced that notwithstanding failure in attaining total opposition unity in this year’s presidential contest, Ousainu fulfilled his promise to reach out to other opposition leaders with a view to crafting a united front against the Professor this year.
With neither inclination nor capacity, Ousainu will not divide Gambia along any partisan lines. He will not arrest, detain, or incarcerate any citizen, or resident, of the Gambia outside the ambit of law. He will never torture, abduct, or disappear any citizen, or resident, of the Gambia. That is the development Gambia requires, the development that ensures our territorial integrity is not compromised by the cannibalism inherent in civil conflict.
I join my friend Yero (Dalton) Jallow of Gainako Online Newspaper and other neutrals who, with inspirational erudition, made a cogent case for a UDP-led united front against the APRC. Here I recall the pleas of Gambians like Mathew K Jallow, Momodou B Krubally, Prince Obrien Coker, Professor Abdoulie Saine, Foday Samateh, and others.
As you make your final calls tonight and tomorrow morning to those in homeland dearest with whom you have some influence, please remind them a vote other than for Ousainu will be a wasted vote on November 24.
By voting Ousainu, you and your family and friends are participating in the creation of a Gambia anchored not only in law and institutions, but a Gambia where the protection of human dignity is the highest practical value.
Ousainu N Darboe for president on November 24!
Long live the Gambia our homeland
Lamin J Darbo