The Second Round of the Liberian Presidential Election
Favors George Manneh Weah


By Winsley S. Nanka, CPA

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
October 27, 2005


George Weah
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 of Liberia".

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.