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Vol 56 No 17

Published 20th August 2015


Liberia

Ellen calls the shots

The President is unpopular but she dominates the country's political scene and will influence the selection of her successor in 2017

It hasn't all been plain sailing. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's government was rocked by the social and political side-effects of the Ebola epidemic, with some in the country openly calling for her overthrow. At the height of the crisis, last December, her favourite son and former key advisor, Robert Alvin Sirleaf, was defeated in an election for a Senate seat by former football star George Weah. Concerned about the unpopularity of the governing Unity Party which his mother heads, Robert ran as an independent candidate but this made no difference to the negative perception of him among Liberians. His defeat amounted to a vote of no confidence in his mother's government and has sunk him as a potential presidential candidate.

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