President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been ousted from the outgoing ruling party that brought and sustained her in power for the past 12 years. She was expelled from the Unity Party (UP) late Saturday evening, January 13, 2018.
According to a UP release signed by the Assistant Secretary General for Public Outreach, Mohammed Ali, the vote for her expulsion was taken as a result of several violations of the party’s constitution and other “acts inimical to the existence and reputation of the party”.
This clearly shows that while some have been celebrating Liberia’s President- elect George Weah, others do not buy Weah’s idea that everyone is a winner of the just held elections and probably might not want to work with him. This decision comes after a chain of events from last September.
In September 2017, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said she will not be able to attend the Unity Party campaign launch for presidential elections, due to other engagements. Sirleaf said she made a commitment for the groundbreaking of a clinic about two weeks ago with some women in Bomi, something she had planned for 2 years ago and could not break the engagement.
In October, Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) released full results of the general elections and confirmed a run-off vote between the two top candidates for the presidency; George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change – CDC (38.4%) and, Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party – UP (28.8%), on November 7 2017.
A few days later in October, the UP said it would back a legal challenge by Liberty Party of the third-place candidate Charles Brumskine to the elections result, accusing President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of interfering in the vote. The party said in a statement that the October 10 poll, meant to usher in Liberia’s first democratic transition of power since 1944, was “characterised by massive systematic irregularities and fraud”.
The statement, read to reporters by the UP Chairman Wilmont Paye, said Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf had acted inappropriately by meeting privately with elections magistrates before the vote.
Immediately after that Sirleaf’s spokesman denied the allegations that she meddled in the presidential election. “The office of the president wishes to state unequivocally that these allegations are completely baseless and an unfortunate attempt by agents provocateurs to undermine Liberia’s democratic process,” Johnson Sirleaf’s spokesman, Jerolinmek Piah, told reporters.
In November the Supreme Court indefinitely delayed the runoff, ordering the electoral commission to resolve an opposition party’s complaint for fraud before the vote could be held.
After that followed a period of thick uncertainty in Liberia, till the Supreme Court threw out the requests to cancel the elections and delay the runoff. Finally, a date for the delayed presidential run-off vote was announced; December 26. A run-off that led to George Weah’s victory.