The United States Tuesday welcomed results confirming the re-election of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and praised the creation of an inquiry commission to probe alleged fraud.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered congratulations on behalf of President Barack Obama and the people of the United States, and expressed disappointment over efforts to “delegitimize” the results.
“I want to congratulate the Liberian people for exercising their right to vote in last week’s presidential and legislative elections,” she said.
“These historic elections are important milestones on Liberia’s path toward democratic reconciliation. The United States congratulates President Sirleaf on her re-election and we will continue to work with her and all elected officials to advance democracy, and promote peace and prosperity.”
The National Electoral Commission on Tuesday confirmed Sirleaf’s victory with a whopping 90.7 percent share of the vote after her rival Winston Tubman pulled out of the November 8 run-off, citing the risk of widespread fraud.
The west African nation was on edge as Tubman demanded a re-run and said his party was planning another mass rally for the funerals of opposition supporters allegedly killed by police on the eve of the vote.
Tubman managed to garner 9.3 percent of votes and said low voter turnout of 38.6 percent did not hand Sirleaf, this year’s Nobel peace laureate, a legitimate mandate.
The presidency said in a statement Tuesday that Sister Mary Laurene Browne, 68, a university teacher, will lead the independent commission of enquiry into deadly clashes between opposition supporters and police on November 7.
Clinton’s statement noted that the violence “marred this otherwise peaceful process, so we welcome the creation of a Special Independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the incident.”
She added: “We are also deeply disappointed by the Congress for Democratic Change’s decision to boycott the run-off election in an attempt to delegitimize the election. We urge all political parties to respect the election results and resolve their differences peacefully.”