Liberia’s ruling Unity Party expels outgoing President Sirleaf

Liberia’s outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Liberia’s ruling party has expelled the country’s outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, accusing her of meddling in last year’s presidential election in which its candidate and current vice president Joseph Boakai suffered defeat.

Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been in power since January 2006, has however denied the allegations that she held private meetings with election magistrates.

In a statement on Sunday, the Unity Party said it had also expelled four other officials who were deemed to be undermining the existence of the party.

“The behaviour of the expelled persons … constitutes sabotage and undermined the existence of the party,” Reuters quotes the statement announcing the decision, which was taken by the party’s executive committee late on Saturday.

Former football star George Weah won the first round of the October 10 presidential vote, but did not meet the required 50 per cent to earn an outright victory.

He went on to triumph in the second round of Liberia’s presidential election, defeating Boakai after garnering 62% of the vote. He won all but one of Liberia’s 15 counties.

President Sirleaf was not allowed to run for re-election due to constitutional term limits.

The statement said she and the other members had violated rules, including a requirement to support all Unity Party candidates in elections.

Weah is scheduled to be sworn in on January 22.

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