Charles Brumskine

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Charles Walker Brumskine (born 27 April 1951) is a Liberian politician and attorney. He is the Political Leader of the Liberty Party and came third in the 2005 presidential election. He is considered the most popular opposition politician in Liberia, and he challenged Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the Presidency in 2011.[1] He is also the senior partner of Brumskine & Associates, a leading Liberian law firm.[2]

Early life[edit]

He was educated at the University of Liberia where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1973.[3] Brumskine then attended the school's Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law where he was awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1981 and passed the Liberian bar.[3] He earned a Master of Laws degree from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas the following year.[3]

Political career[edit]

Brumskine became politically prominent in the 1990s as an ally of Charles Taylor. When Taylor became President in 1997, Brumskine became President Pro Temp of the Senate. By 1999, however, they began feuding, and Brumskine fled the country after being threatened by Taylor's supporters. He returned to Liberia in 2003 with plans to run in the scheduled 2003 presidential election. However, Taylor's resignation that year and the installment of a two-year transitional government led to the elections being cancelled.

In 2004, Brumskine began campaigning for the 2005 presidential elections in Liberia, as a member of the Liberty Party. Like most of the other candidates, he promised to bring reconciliation to the country following its political turmoil, and improve the economy and infrastructure. What made him unique was the strong religious message in his campaign. Ultimately, he received nearly 14% of the vote, 6% less than the second-place candidate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and therefore he was not able to participate in the runoff.[4] Due to his popularity in the first round, he could have significantly influenced the run-off had he endorsed either candidate. He decided not to endorse Sirleaf or her opponent, George Weah, in the runoff.

In 2010, he announced his plans to challenge Sirleaf in the 2011 presidential election.[5]

2011 elections[edit]

On January 20, 2011 Cllr. Charles Brumskine announced that Bong County Senator Franklin Obed Siakor would be his running mate in the 2011 presidential election.[6]

Soon after the announcement, some Liberian political analysts believed that the merger of Bassa County's Charles Brumskine and Bong County's Franklin Siakor would pose trouble for Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's re-election bid. It was also argued that Brumskine's pairing with Siakor delivered a fatal blow to other opposition political parties that might enter the race for President, as the race was thought likely to come down to Brumskine and Johnson-Sirleaf.[7] However, Winston Tubman was the most popular of Johnson-Sirleaf's opponents, and the third-place finisher in the contest was Prince Johnson.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles Brumskine's The Candidate to Beat in 2012 Archived July 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. 2 September 2007
  2. ^ Brumskine & Associates Law Firm 9 October 2012
  3. ^ a b c "Candidates for President in Election 2005". TLC Africa. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  4. ^ Elections in Liberia, African Elections Database.
  5. ^ Brumskine Frowns On Residency Clause, Wants Ellen Out of 2011 Elections 8 October 2010, FrontPageAfrica
  6. ^ [1] 20 January 2011
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2011-01-23.  20 January 2011
  8. ^ Valdmanis, Richard (14 October 2011). "Liberia president extends lead, short of vote majority". Reuters. Retrieved 15 October 2011.