Monday, November 14, 2005

GEORGE WEAH DISPUTES RESULTS.


Weah's MPs issue boycott threat.

George Weah supporters took to the streets on Friday. The 18 MPs from Liberian football star George Weah's party have threatened to boycott parliament over claims of election fraud. Mr Weah claims he was cheated in last week's presidential run-off, which Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf seemingly won. Mr Weah's CDC is the best represented party in parliament after the first polls since the end of a 14-year war.
Over the weekend, seven powerful African leaders hailed Liberia's election as free and fair. The 15 members of the House of Representatives and three Senators from the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) say they will refuse to take their seats "if the massive electoral fraud is not addressed adequately". CDC activists were again gathering at the party headquarters to protest at the alleged poll fraud.
The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh in Monrovia says riot police backed up by UN troops are out in force at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC). On Friday, a protest march ended in violence, with stones thrown at UN peacekeepers, who responded with teargas. Mr Weah has appealed for his supporters to remain calm while his complaints are investigated. He has called for a re-run.
PARTIAL RESULTS

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf: 59.4%
George Weah: 40.6%
From 97% of polling stations
Source: NEC

With almost all the votes from Thursday's run-off election counted, Ms Johnson-Sirleaf has an insurmountable lead. She is expected to be named president when official results are announced soon - making her the first woman to be elected president anywhere in Africa. The new parliament is fragmented, with representatives of 11 parties, along with 10 independents. Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf's Unity Party has eight Representatives and three senators.
The leaders of Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia and Algeria as well as the chairman of the African Union commission issued a statement during a meeting in Abuja on Sunday. They described the vote as "peaceful, transparent, free and fair," AFP news agency reported. Anyone who disagreed with the vote outcome should "use constitutional and legal means to address any grievances," they added. International observers say the election was broadly free and fair. The West African regional group Ecowas has urged the losers to accept the result with dignity and grace.
BBC NEWS REPORT BY MR. JONATHAN PAYE-LAYLEH.

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