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Vol 46 No 23

Published 18th November 2005


Madam President

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has the political support and economic experience to succeed

Security, anti-corruption and political reconciliation top the agenda as Liberia prepares for its, and Africa's, first female president. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, 67, a former director of the United Nations Development Programme and Vice-President of Citicorp, beat her rival, ex-soccer star George Manneh Weah, with a 20 per cent margin of more than 150,000 votes in the election on 8 November. Known as the 'Iron Lady', Johnson-Sirleaf is often compared to Britain's former Premier Margaret Thatcher. The security worries come from disgruntled political rivals and thousands of former militia fighters who want jobs and houses.

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