The second round of the Liberian presidential election
between Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf and Liberia's soccer
millionaire, George Manneh Weah is likely to favor
George Manneh Weah because the Liberian voters are
disillusioned with the Liberian political class. The
political class has failed to create social and economic
opportunities for the broad masses of the Liberian
people through out the history of Liberia. George
Manneh Weah's candidacy is a by-product of the failure
of the political class to meet the expectations of
the Liberian people.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is an able and capable representative
of the political class. She has the education and
experience to lead Liberia in this difficult period
of its national history. However, she represents a
political class whose failure to institute democratic
safeguards and equitable socio-economic development
resulted in the introduction of the military in Liberian
politics in the 1980s. The quality of the military
leadership in the 1980s was a result of the failure
of the ruling elite, of which Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
is a part. This group failed to provide education
and other opportunities to all Liberians. In addition,
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is alleged by Jucontee Thomas
Woewiyu, Charles Taylor's former Defense Minister
and Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa, wife of the late General
Thomas Quiwonkpa, to have collaborated with dissident
Liberian intellectuals in the late 1980s to support
the devastating civil war that killed thousands of
Liberians and decimated the Liberian society. Ellen
Johnson-Sirleaf is an integral part of what is wrong
with Liberia. She represents the "worst and best
Whereas George Manneh Weah does not have the education
or experience to lead Liberia, and its alleged by
Benedict Wesseh, a former player of the Liberian national
team in a recent interview published by The Perspective
that, Weah has not developed "any ability for
which he should be awarded the presidency of Liberia".
It is doubtful Weah has the capacity to "make
an independent analysis of situation, and select the
best option given a set of circumstances." Wesseh
said, echoing the sentiments of many Liberian commentators.
Many of the people that are opposed to George Manneh
Weah may be doing so because of Liberians experience
with Samuel Doe, who they considered a "semi-literate
man" who instituted a reign of terror in Liberia
during his administration.
However, Weah's major advantage is the Liberian voters
do not see him as a contributor to the state of chaos
and a dysfunctional political system in Liberia. Weah's
other advantages are his celebrity status as a soccer
player, and his wealth in poverty stricken Liberia.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has to give the average Liberian
voters a reason why they should vote her into power.
If she really wants to win, she has to appeal directly
to the Liberian people and explain to them why the
"devil they know" (Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf)
should be elected instead of the "angel (George
Weah) they do not know". Endorsements from the
defeated presidential candidates in the first round
of the presidential election will not help her much
because many of them do not have natural constituencies.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that if they ask
their supporters to vote for Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf,
their supporters would do so.
In short, analysis of the result of the first round
of the presidential election revealed that there was
85,000 votes overall difference between Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
and George Manneh Weah. According to George Yuoh's
rejoinder titled "A Case of Faulty Arithmetic:
A Rejoinder to J.M. Addy's Did Liberian Voters Reject
George Weah"?, published by The Perspective,
"George Weah won six (6) counties outright (which
is about 40% of the total national votes), including
the two most populous counties, Montserrado and Nimba.
In addition to that, Mr. Weah came second in seven
(7) other counties (about 46.67% of the total national
votes), including Grand Bassa and Bong Counties, the
next two populous counties after Montserrado and Nimba".
In view of George Manneh Weah's performance in the first
round of the election, coupled with the fact that the
Liberian political class is discredited in the eyes
of the vast majority of Liberian people, and the defeat
suffered by the political class in both the legislative
and presidential elections, suggests that Weah is favored
to win the second round of the presidential election
by a sizable margin.