By Alphonso Toweh
Winston Tubman said on Friday that he would not take part in Liberia‘s planned November 8 presidential run-off vote against President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, but the election commission said a vote would take place anyway.
The culmination of Liberia’s second post-war poll — which will test progress in stabilizing a nation that is rich in minerals but was crippled by years of war — has been marred by allegations of bias at the election commission.
The previous head of the commission resigned last week after Tubman’s party complained it was biased, but Tubman said problems remained at the body.
“We refuse to participate in the November 8th run-off election. We will never reward fraud and abuse of power and will never grant legitimacy to a corrupt political process,” Tubman told reporters in Monrovia.
The regional body ECOWAS has warned that a boycott risked destabilizing Liberia and called on Tubman not to pull out of the process. Tubman flew to Nigeria for talks with ECOWAS this week but they appear to have failed.
The election commission said Tubman’s boycott would have no impact on the holding of the vote.
“Nothing will stop the elections from going ahead as planned,” she added.