Monday, December 12, 2005

Trouble in Liberia.

Africa: As the loser of the Presidential election as George Weah decides he did not lose.

MONROVIA, 12 December (IRIN) - Former football superstar and loser of Liberia's first post-war elections, George Weah, claimed the presidency this weekend in a series of rabble-rousing speeches that sparked rioting in the battered capital Monrovia. Several policemen were reported to be badly hurt and at least 40 arrested in the trouble on Sunday. Weah's verbal onslaught began as soon as he was off a plane, fresh from visiting presidents John Kufuor of Ghana and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, who have been urging the onetime FIFA world footballer of the year to concede defeat gracefully. "I am President of this country, whether you like it or not, it will not change. I told President Mbeki this. I repeat that I was cheated in the elections," Weah told reporters on Sunday afternoon. Weah lost to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in the second round run-off of Liberia's first post-war presidential elections on the 8 November but has refused to accept her victory claiming large scale rigging and fraud in the UN-organised poll. On Sunday evening, Weah told hundreds of supporters gathered at his party headquarters -- the Congress for Democratic Change -- that Sirleaf's inauguration, scheduled for mid-January, would be blocked. "One cannot have an inauguration in January when the case we are pursuing is not resolved. The whole world needs to know this. We are seeking justice and there cannot be peace without justice," Weah said.
Can we just have one African election go off without bloodshed? If Weah really gave a damn, he would set himself up as leader of the opposition party to help grow a model political system in Liberia. I guess that was too much to ask for these days.

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