After intense negotiation which kicked off at the United States Embassy in Monrovia between the ruling Unity Party and the opposition which boycotted the run-off election on November 8, 2011 and result which the opposition vowed not to accept and the inauguration of President Sirleaf won’t take place on January 16, 2012, a significant break-through has characterized that negotiation.
The opposition Congress for Democratic Change which vowed not to recognize President re-election and ensure is not inaugurated, has agreed in principles to form unity party with President Sirleaf in the interest of peace and well-being of the Liberian nation.
According to a n executive of the opposition representing the CDC in the negotiation being brokered by the United States Embassy but speaking on anonymity because the classified nature of the negotiations, says a 10 man committee, with both Unity Party and CDC party of five members each has been set up to explore the mechanisms to form a unity government along with President Sirleaf.
The purported break-through in negotiation with the opposition CDC party and its willingness to bury the hatchets on the conduct of the election and its subsequent outcome will bring much relief to Liberians and calm the nerves having been on the edge since the run-off and the threat of the opposition to reject the election of President Sirleaf and blocking her inauguration that finally, there is peace on the horizon for the country.
President Sirleaf is under pressure from the international community to form a government of national unity since her re-election falls short of legitimacy and lacks the mandate to govern the because she went to the run-off unopposed after her contender, Cllr. Winston Tubman and his Congress for Democratic Change boycotted the run-off on grounds that the National Election Commission be reconstituted to project trust, integrity, independence, and remove impediments from the election which disadvantage the opposition in favor of President. The low turnout of 38% and 28% voting President Sirleaf back to a second term further impaired her legitimacy and her government weak.
Voters turnout for Liberia’s November 8th run-off election was 38%, a distant of the 71% turnout in the first round in October and 6% shy of President Sirleaf’s 44% she received in the first round. The President got 90% of the total turnout of 38% while her challenger Tubman though he boycotted the polls, got 10% 0f the votes, leaving the president with a barely 28% voting her to a second term, a sharp contrast of 16% drop from the 44% votes she obtained in the first round.
The opposition CDC party willingness to form a unity government along with President Sirleaf paves the way for her inauguration on January 16, 2012 and the eventual recognition of her government by the CDC, dropping its initial threat to block the inauguration and not recognize the President second term election.
CDC itself has been under pressure from supporters and the wilder Liberian people to constrain itself by living with the outcome of controversial election of President Sirleaf to a second term for peace sake.
On the eve of the November 8th run-off, partisans of the CDC clashed with police at their headquarters throwing rocks when they were prevented from marching in a boycott rally called the party to protest run-off election; the police fired tear gas and live bullets into the crowd killing opposition partisans and injuring several others.
The Director of police, Marc Amblard was let go for the violence at the CDC headquarters.