- Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced plans to seek a second term in the west African state polls scheduled for 2011, defying her promise of only holding the presidency for one term.
Addressing the parliamentarians, the president said she had not realised before the 2005 polls how much work needed to be done in Liberia. She become Africa's first elected female head of state after winning 53 percent of the vote.
"Whatever I do, it will be for you. And so it is for these reasons and to bring to an end all speculations that I now announce to you and to the thousands of my supporters that I will be a formidable candidate, in the 2011 elections. Let us travel the rest of this road together knowing that the God who brought us this far will not leave us," the president said in her address.
However, opposition politicians in the country have contentiously called on the president to respect her one-term limit, with several of them urging her to step aside and get prepared to relinquish the presidency in the coming electoral process.
They further state that Ms Sirleaf's indications and plans for next term could derail the country young democracy. Liberia emerged from the brutal civil in 2003, ending armed militancy and political conflicts in the country.
The West African nation was relatively calm until 1980 when William Tolbert was overthrown by Sergeant Samuel Doe after food price riots.
A transitional government steered the country towards elections in 2005 after former President, Mr Charles Taylor resigned under international pressure in 2003 and went into exile in Nigeria.
Around 250,000 people were killed in Liberia's civil war and many thousands more fled the fighting. The conflict left the country in economic ruin and overrun with weapons. The capital remains without mains electricity and running water. Corruption is rife and unemployment and illiteracy are endemic.
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