Liberia's Sirleaf may offer rivals govt posts

Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:58pm GMT

By Alphonso Toweh and Richard Valdmanis

MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf may, if re-elected, offer government posts to rivals in a spirit of reconciliation after a deadly crackdown on an opposition protest, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Newly-named Nobel peace laureate Johnson-Sirleaf is tipped to win a second term in the war-scarred West African country after rival Winston Tubman dropped out of a November 8 run-off vote, alleging fraud in an October first round won by the incumbent.

"She will reach out to key opposition leaders as well as members of other political parties and Liberian citizens in general," said Norris Tweah, the Information Ministry spokesman.

Tweah said that included Tubman's CDC party and added that a government role for Tubman himself was not ruled out.

"If it means she will form a national government of inclusion, she will do so. There are good people in the CDC camp," he said.

Results from Tuesday's run-off are due to start coming in on Thursday. Although Tubman dropped out and urged Liberians to boycott the vote, his name appeared on ballot slips. A low turnout could raise questions over the credibility of the vote.

Liberian police used tear gas, truncheons and live rounds to disperse hundreds of CDC supporters who had spilled onto a major roadway near their headquarters on Monday, leaving two dead. U.N. peacekeepers were present in support of the police.

Former U.N. diplomat Tubman, who was in the CDC headquarters at the time of the clash, has accused authorities of staging an attempt on his life, something the government denied.   Continued...

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is also Liberia's president and presidential candidate of the Unity Party (UP), speaks during a last electoral campaign rally in Monrovia November 6, 2011.     REUTERS/Luc Gnago
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