I think it's sour grapes from Weah's side. Observers report no indication of voting irregularities. The people are just having second thoughts about a football jock running the country. A colleague at work who is from Liberia says Weah's a bad choice because of his total lack of experience in African -- or any other kind -- of politics. But she might be biased, as her husband was in Charles Taylor's government.
I think it's sour grapes from Weah's side. Observers report no indication of voting irregularities. The people are just having second thoughts about a football jock running the country. A colleague at work who is from Liberia says Weah's a bad choice because of his total lack of experience in African -- or any other kind -- of politics. But she might be biased, as her husband worked in Charles Taylor's government.
A friend was in the Peace Corps during the sixties, stationed in Liberia. A few years ago, a friend she had maintained contact with mailed her many drawings done by teenage boys.
Each drawing was done in a cartoon-like style. All depicted violence, including body parts being cut off, children being slaughtered, and one showed a soldier cutting open a pregnant woman's stomach.
I often wonder how anyone can survive growing up with that kind of violence and be willing to work for a democratic government. The tragedy of violence seems to grow geometrically with each generation.
I hope that whoever is voted in will be able to start a spark of democracy that is real and not just a cynical bid for power.
Diane - I hope so too. Africa needs more success stories.
Andrew, I figured it was knee-jerk (the complaints), but I am on the cape and not spending much time searching the net for news.
so sirleaf is in the leads? although she came in second in the first round, noone could predict how the second round will go - with all the voters that voted for others in the 1st round (other than weah and sirleaf that is). either one will be, however, good for liberia.
Kind of holding my breath on this topic......
This seems like it's really good news (that she won), I'm still looking for more info.
From what I've heard, the best news is that Weah intervened to stop some of his followers from taking violent armed action, something that has been standard operating procedure in Liberia. He said he'd take his case to the Liberian Supreme Court, but disapproved of any violence on his behalf.
The most unstable part of the population is the angry dispossessed youth - who were Weah supporters. The scariest part of the population is the political powers who could easily do away with the Sirleaf.
Still holding breath.
Merry - he did. It was the best move he could have made, he ran as a peace candidate and he took the high road. And, maybe he knew about this:
Johnson-Sirleaf wants to appoint Weah to an important position.
Election observers found some irregularities, but not what they would call significant fraud.
Liberia Exemplifies Women's Growing Empowerment, First Lady Says
United States Department of State (Washington, DC)
January 15, 2006
Posted to the web January 16, 2006
The election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as Liberia's first female president is a significant event worldwide and is "particularly important" to Africa, first lady Laura Bush says.
"[T]raditionally women have been excluded in many African cultures," the first lady told reporters January 15. By becoming the first elected female president in Africa, Johnson-Sirleaf "serves as a very important role model for little girls on the continent, as well as around the world."
The first lady also highlighted the recent passage of Liberia's first-ever anti-rape legislation, calling it a key step to addressing the problem of violence toward girls and women.
"We all know that if girls are educated and empowered, they also are able to avoid violent situations easier than if they're not educated and vulnerable," she said.
The first lady, who is leading a U.S. delegation that also includes her daughter Barbara, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, U.S. ambassador to Liberia Donald Booth and special assistant to the president Cindy Courville, said she is "thrilled" by the opportunity to bring Johnson-Sirleaf "the best wishes of the American people" and "the commitment from the United States government to stand with her, to stand with the people of Liberia as they rebuild their country."
According to Frazer, the U.S. government contributed $840 million in 2005 toward reconstruction efforts in Liberia. (See U.S. Aid to Africa.)
In addition to attending Johnson-Sirleaf's inauguration in Liberia, the U.S. delegation will also travel to Ghana and Nigeria.
In Ghana, the delegation will participate in an event with six university presidents from the United States who, with the help of funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will be working with African countries to write and develop their own curricula and textbooks.
Women and Gender
United States, Canada and Africa
In Nigeria the delegation will visit a hospital and deliver anti-retroviral drugs as part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Throughout the trip, the delegation will talk about "all the ways that boys and girls can be educated so that they can protect themselves from deadly diseases, so they can make an economic impact in their countries, and so that they'll be able to live successful lives," the first lady said.
never mind laura bush... what puzzles me is: "In Ghana, the delegation will participate in an event with six university presidents from the United States who, with the help of funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will be working with African countries to write and develop their own curricula and textbooks."
In an event? Develop curricula and textbooks? Wouldn't that take days if not weeks? Why university presidents? Huh....
Am not even going to comment about the last sentence....
Seems like another feel-good trip that ain't gonna do a thing.
President Sirleaf has taken on the widespread rape issue, in her inaugural address even. But, she is not seemingly eager to try former president Taylor - he is not her first priority.