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Liberians want violence free poll

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 02:01

October 11 - Presidential incumbent Johnson-Sirleaf seeks new term in the second election since the end of civil war, as Liberians hope to avoid violence despite a heated campaign. Sophia Soo reports.

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As Liberians gear up for Tuesday's presidential election, many hope it will be violence-free. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who shared this year's Nobel Peace Prize, will face chief rival Winston Tubman and 14 others in the second presidential vote since the end of civil war that killed 200,000 people and left Liberia in ruins. American ambassador to Liberia said they are worried violence may break out if people are unhappy with the results. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO LIBERIA, SAYING: "We have expressed some concern about inuendo violence encouraging people not to support the results of the election, we had conversations with all of them regarding that and we've heard some of them make statements to that effect encouraging them not to use violence to express their views." Supporters of Johnson-Sirleaf said they don't want violence either. (SOUNDBITE) (Liberian English) UNITY PARTY SUPPORTER, DAVID SUMO, SAYING: "Even if they are holding elections they have no right putting 50 or 100,000 people in the street. We the Liberians are tired of war. And we don't want violence and if Winston Tubman thinks that he can put people in the street, I think Mr Tubman is making a mistake." Eight years into peace, Liberia has seen growing investment in its iron and gold mines and has convinced donors to waive most of its debt, though many residents complain of a lack of basic services, high food prices, rampant crime and corruption. Unemployment rate remains high and average income stands at $300 a year -- below the $1-a-day benchmark for extreme poverty. Sophia Soo, Reuters.

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Liberians want violence free poll

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 02:01