Friday, November 11, 2005


New Woman President of Liberia

Don't you just love this story? Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a Harvard-educated economist runs and wins Liberian presidential election against soccer star George Weah. What do most Americans know about Liberia? Most can attribute the founding of Liberia to freed slaves. Some doubt that story. In any case, Liberian President Johnson-Sirleaf will be the first woman president in African history.

She's got some significant challenges ahead of her. She must deal with the likes of former warlords, associates and relatives of former dictator Charles Taylor, and a "deeply fragmented bicameral congress." See Fruits and Votes via Head Heeb for a detailed analysis and proposed solutions.

There have been many women heads of state before in Africa (not elected). The election is still being investigated. The woman ahead appears to have been working closely with the Nigeria. She was in Nigeria a week before the 'election'. Nigeria has most of the troops in Liberia, also the security guards for the woman ahead are all Nigerian agents. The other candidate did not have close ties to Nigeria, he had is own private security he hired and was likely to be tough on Taylor who is in Nigeria. Given all this the election was out of his hands regardless of what the people of Liberia wanted. Nigeria's Ambassador will be controling things in that country if she is approved the winner. That might help Nigeria get votes for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council but that doesn't do much for Liberians.
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