Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: UP and Re-launching From The Top

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
October 6, 2005


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Ellen's supporters on Broad Street
If today were October 11, Ellen would have been all smiles at the top. Her campaign Team relaunched the campaign today: it was a simultaneous re-launch throughout the country. As early as 6:00 am supporters started converging on central Monrovia. Even those who work in central Monrovia had to start their journey around that time. By 11:00 AM the traffic in Monrovia came to a standstill: Broad street was like a parking lot. Paynseville, New Georgia, Barnesville, Gardnersville and other areas seem to be even worse than central Monrovia. Even staff members of Innovative Technologies, a one stop digital center, had to work overtime last night printing T-shirts, buttons and oversized banners for Ellen's supporters.

Several pickups, equipped with Tiger generators and sound systems were plying the streets of Monrovia, playing “Ma Ellen, Give Us Hope”. Implying that Ellen is the only candidate in the race who can give Liberia the hope the country desperately needs. Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) was so packed that some even doubted if Mrs. Sirleaf herself would be able to enter the stadium. Her motorcade from the Unity Party headquarters on Broad Street to ATS seemed to at best be moving at about .1 mile per hour. But she seemed to be enjoying the journey: she was smiling and waving as the vehicle moved at a snail pace.

Ellen's supporters at ATS
Ellen on Broad Street

Tens of thousands of those who could not enter the stadium kept their day going by dancing and singing on Lynch Street and UN Drive. The crowd in Monrovia was unbelievable! “When you are not UP, you are down, or when you are not UP you are upside down” could be heard all over the city. (UP stands for Unity Party and Ellen is the party’s presidential candidate.

Many see her as the most qualified candidate in the race. One observer even opined that today she brought out voters, not just supporters.

This type of re-launch was the first of its kind for the ensuing October 11, 2005 elections. Several candidates are expected to follow suit. Candidates Weah and Sherman are to re-launched their respective campaigns on Saturday. Some even foresee conflict.