Monday, October 25, 2010

African Elections Project - Liberia Fact Sheet

Name of Country: Liberia

Capital City: Monrovia

Population: 3476608 (2008)

Size: 43000 square miles (111370 square kilometers)

Short Political History : Liberia was founded in 1822. Through periods of persistent struggle and determination, it eventually transitioned to become a Commonwealth and finally gained independence in1847 with the help of the American Colonization Society (a private organization based in the United States). Serious transformation of Liberia began in the early 1770s which saw President William Tubman ruling for 27 years. During his reign, he promoted an "open door" economic policy that brought substantial foreign investment into the country.  Unfortunately, he died whiles in office and was succeeded by his long serving Vice President William Tolbert who hailed from the affluent Americo-Liberian descent. His social policy of integrating the more indigenous into government lacked public support hence the bloody coup d'etat in April 1980 led by Army Master Sergeant Samuel Doe, an ethnic Krahn that resulted in Tolbert's murder and the public execution of 13 of his cabinet members. During the reign of the People's Redemption Council (PRC), headed by Sergeant Samuel Doe, there were numerous bloodshed and civil wars

In July 1997, elections were conducted and Charles Taylor was declared winner, garnering nearly75 percent of the vote. Unfortunately for Taylor, he  was supporting the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in the civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone and as a result, the UN imposed sanctions on the Liberian government including arms-importation ban,  a ban on foreign travel by high-ranking members of the government and their

immediate families and  a ban on trading "blood diamonds". There was fierce opposition to Taylor's government from Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), headed by Sekou Conneh, (a businessman married to the daughter of the then Guinea President Lansana Conté) who accused Taylor's government of widespread human rights violations against innocent civilians, as well as child soldier recruitment. Finally, in 2005 presidential and parliamentary elections were held. The presidential election   entered its second round. The two first-round frontrunners, Liberian football star and former UNICEF goodwill ambassador George Weah and former World Bank official and economist Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, squared off for runoff elections in November. Johnson-Sirleaf won and set off on a challenging reconstruction agenda to date.



Last Presidential Elections: October 11, 2005 presidential and legislative elections

Next elections date: 11th October 2011

Results of last election:  59.4% for Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and 40.6% for George Weah

Second Run Date: November 8, 2005 presidential run-off

Current President: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Current Vice President: Joseph Nyumah Boakai

Official Start of Campaign: August 18-October 9, 2011

Electoral Management Body:  National Elections Commission of Liberia

Total Votes (Voter Turnout) last election: 987,911 (76.5%)

The 64 House seats are distributed among Liberia's fifteen counties based on its total number of registered voters. Each county is guaranteed by law to have at least two seats. The current seat distribution among the counties is as follows:




Grand Bassa

Grand Cape Mount

Grand Gedeh

Grand Kru






River Cess

River Gee


 Political Parties

1.     Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia [COTOL]

2.     National Patriotic Party (NPP)

3.     Alliance for Peace and Democracy [APD]

4.     Congress for Democratic Change (CDC)

5.     Liberty Party (LP)

6.     Unity Party (UP)

7.     National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL)

8.     All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP)

9.     National Reformation Party (NRP)

10.  National Reformation Party (NRP)

11.  New Deal Movement (NDM)

12.  United Democratic Alliance [UDA]


Key News Websites:

National Elections Commission of Liberia-

Star Radio-

The Analyst-

The Heritage-

The Inquirer-

Liberian Broadcasting System (LBS)-

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-


Political Parties website, facebook and twitter :

National Patriotic Party (NPP)-

Congress for Democratic Change (CDC)

National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL)-


I              Peter Dennis "A Brief History of Liberia" The International Center for Transitional Justice May 2006




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