Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is in the last days of her reign as Africa’s first democratically elected female president. She has, however, set a political battle for her days out of office.
According to her spokesman Jerolinmek Piah, Sirleaf regarded the Unity Party (UP) decision to expel her as illegal and that she will return to the party to seek redress after she hands over power on January 22.
Sirleaf will pass on the presidential baton to former world footballer of the year, George Weah, who beat Sirleaf’s deputy, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, in a poll run-off in December 2017. The duo entered the run-off after the October 8 polls failed to register an outright winner.
The 79-year-old was on January 14 thrown out of the UP on whose ticket she won two mandates in 2006 and 2011. The executive committee accused Sirleaf of not backing the vice-president leading to the loss of power.
Sirleaf after the first round refuted allegations by her party that she had interfered with the electoral process by meeting officials of the election body at her residence. She has also fought off claims that she backed then-Senator Weah.
In the first round, Weah polled 38% against Boakai’s 28%. A run-off was halted as the Liberty Party of third-place Charles Brumskine went to court to quash the process. The court refused his plea and ordered the rerun to proceed. Weah won by over 60% and has since been congratulated by Boakai.