Liberian general election, 1985

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Liberian presidential election, 1985
1975 ←
15 October 1985 → 1997

  Samuel Kanyon Doe.jpg
Nominee Samuel Doe Jackson Doe
Running mate Harry Moniba Emmanuel Koroma
Popular vote 264,362 137,270
Percentage 50.93% 26.45%

President before election

Samuel Doe

Elected President

Samuel Doe

Coat of arms of Liberia.svg
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politics and government of

General elections were held in Liberia on 15 October 1985.[1] These were the first elections since the 12 April 1980 military coup that brought Samuel Doe to power. Official results showed that Samuel Doe won the presidential election with 50.9% of the vote, just enough to avoid a runoff. His National Democratic Party of Liberia won large majorities in both houses of the Legislature.

The polls were marred by allegations of widespread fraud and rigging. Many independent observers believed that the Liberian Action Party's Jackson Doe, who officially finished second, was the actual winner. It was later revealed that Samuel Doe had the ballots counted in a secret location by his handpicked staff.[2] The period after the elections saw increased human rights abuses, corruption, and ethnic tensions, ultimately leading to the start of the First Liberian Civil War in 1989 and Doe's overthrow and murder in 1990.


Presidential election[edit]

Summary of the 15 October 1985 Liberian presidential election resultsedit Votes %
Samuel Doe, National Democratic Party of Liberia 264,362 50.93
Jackson Doe, Liberian Action Party 137,270 26.45
Gabriel Kpolleh, Liberia Unification Party 59,965 11.55
Edward Kesselly, Unity Party 57,443 11.07
Total 519,040 100.00
Source: African Elections Database

Legislative election[edit]

Party Votes % House seats Senate seats
National Democratic Party of Liberia 264,364 50.9 51 22
Liberian Action Party 137,270 26.5 8 2
Unity Party 59,965 11.6 2 1
Liberia Unification Party 57,273 11.0 3 1
Total 518,872 100 64 26
Source: Nohlen et al.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p512 ISBN 0-19-829645-2
  2. ^ Gifford, Paul. Christianity and Politics in Doe's Liberia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 22.