Liberia ex-warlord cleared for presidential bid
Monrovia (Liberia): One of Liberia`s most
infamous warlords on on Wednesday launched his presidential campaign,
a race sure to be overshadowed by his reputation for gruesome
acts and a government commission`s quest to try him for crimes
The National Elections Commission said that Prince
Johnson`s party, the National Union for Democratic Progress,
met the constitutional requirements to compete in next year`s
poll in the West African nation.
Party chairman Emmanuel Lomax praised the party`s
certification as "the birth of democracy in Liberia."
The warlord-turned-senator is likely to face stiff
opposition from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a
Harvard-trained economist who became Africa`s first
democratically elected female president in 2005.
Johnson is best known for the torture and slaying of
ousted president Samuel K Doe in 1990. A videotape of the
event shows Johnson drinking beer as he ordered his men to cut
off Doe`s ears.
Johnson was overwhelmingly elected in 2005 to the Senate
by his native Nimba county for a nine-year term.
Liberia is still tending its wounds after a civil war
that had ravaged the country, turned children into
cold-blooded killers and was marked by cannibalism. The war
ended only seven years ago.
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