Police say an office held by the Unity Party, the party of Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in the city’s capitol of Monrovia, burned down early Saturday. The blaze comes after Liberians took to the poles on Tuesday to vote in the country’s hotly contested presidential elections. Police are pursuing suspects, but have made no arrests, according to the Associated Press.
As of Friday, Sirleaf lead in the polls with 45.4 percent of the vote, falling short of the 50 percent majority needed to avoid a runoff, according to partial results from the country's electoral commission. Sirleaf faced 15 challengers in the presidential race. On Saturday, eight opposition parties — including those of second-place challenger Winston Tubman and third-place contender Prince Johnson — said in a statement that the electoral commission skewed the vote-counting in Sirleaf’s favor. They announced that they were pulling out of the poll and called for a rally to be held on Sunday, but did not give a specific time or place.
The Liberian elections on Tuesday were hoped to serve as an example of the nation’s progress since the end of a bloody civil war that ravished the country for 14 years. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was elected in 2005 and is seeking a second term, is hailed abroad as a reformer. During her tenure, Sirleaf brought peace to the nation, negotiated the cancellation of a $5 billion debt with international donors and built schools, roads and clinics. Sirleaf was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.
(Photo: EPA/AHMED JALLANZO/LANDOV)