2005 Liberian general election

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2005 Liberian presidential election

← 1997 11 October 2005 (first round)
8 November 2005 (second round)
2011 →
  Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, April 2010.jpg George Weah in 2018 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Ellen Johnson Sirleaf George Weah
Party UP CDC
Running mate Joseph Boakai Rudolph Johnson
Popular vote 478,526 327,046
Percentage 59.4% 40.6%

President before election

Gyude Bryant

Elected President

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

General elections were held in Liberia on 11 October 2005, with a runoff election for the presidency held on 8 November. The presidency and all seats in the House of Representatives and Senate were up for election. The elections were the first held since 1997 and marked the end of the political transition following the second civil war, having been stipulated in the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2003. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former World Bank employee and Liberian finance minister, won the presidential contest and became the first democratically elected female African head of state in January 2006.


Frances Johnson-Morris, the chairwoman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), announced the October 11 date on February 7, 2005.[1]

Elections were scheduled for all 64 seats in the House of Representatives, with each of Liberia's 15 counties having at least two seats and the remaining seats allotted proportionally based on voter registration.[2] The Senate had 30 seats up for elections, with two from each county.

Presidential candidates[edit]

Prior to the election, former football star George Weah was considered by many to be the favorite, due at least partially to widespread dissatisfaction with Liberia's politicians. Weah, who had been the subject of a petition published in September 2004 urging him to run,[3] announced his candidacy in mid-November 2004 and received a hero's welcome when he arrived in Monrovia later in the month.[4] Weah won the first round of voting but lost in the November 8, 2005 run-off. He initially filed formal fraud charges, but subsequently dropped his allegations, citing the interests of peace.

Excluded candidates[edit]

The chairman of the transitional government, Gyude Bryant, and other members of the transitional government did not run, according to the terms of the peace deal.[citation needed]

On August 13, the election commission published a list of 22 presidential candidates who were cleared to run; six candidates were rejected, but Weah was cleared to stand despite complaints that he had adopted French citizenship. The Senate seats were contested by 206 candidates and the seats in the lower house were contested by 503 candidates. [1] Campaigning for the elections began on August 15.

In late September, the Supreme Court ruled that two excluded presidential candidates, Marcus Jones and Cornelius Hunter, and an excluded legislative candidate could register to run; this ruling created the possibility that the elections would have to be postponed in order to reprint ballot papers. However, these candidates later withdrew their bids, so the elections went ahead on schedule on October 11.[5]


First round presidential map showing the winners of each county


Voting took place in two rounds 11 October and 8 November. Twenty-two people contested the presidential race in the first round. George Weah, former soccer star and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former World Bank employee and finance minister finished first and second, respectively and advanced to the second round run-off, which Johnson-Sirleaf won 59%-41%, according to the National Electoral Commission.

Weah claimed election fraud, stating elections officials were stuffing ballot boxes in Johnson-Sirleaf's favor. Most elections observers, including those from the United Nations, the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States, say that the election was clean and transparent. The Carter Center observed "minor irregularities" but no major problems. Johnson-Sirleaf reminded the press that Weah has 72 hours to bring evidence of wrongdoing to her campaign according to Liberian law, calling the accusations "lies" and stating that Weah's supporters "just don't want a woman to be President in Africa." [6]

On December 22, 2005, Weah withdrew his protests, and in January, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first democratically elected female Head of State in the history of the African Continent, and the first native female African head of state since Empress Zauditu, who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1930.

Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Unity Party 192,326 19.8 478,526 59.4
George Weah Congress for Democratic Change 275,265 28.3 327,046 40.6
Charles Brumskine Liberty Party 135,093 13.9
Winston Tubman National Democratic Party of Liberia 89,623 9.2
Varney Sherman Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia 76,403 7.8
Roland Massaquoi National Patriotic Party 40,361 4.1
Joseph Korto Liberia Equal Rights Party 31,814 3.3
Alhaji G.V. Kromah All Liberia Coalition Party 27,141 2.8
Togba-Nah Tipoteh Alliance for Peace and Democracy 22,766 2.3
William V.S. Tubman, Jr. Reformed United Liberia Party 15,115 1.6
John Morlu United Democratic Alliance 12,068 1.2
Nathaniel Barnes Liberian Destiny Party 9,325 1.0
Margaret Tor-Thompson Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia 8,418 0.9
Joseph Woah-Tee Labor Party of Liberia 5,948 0.6
Sekou Conneh Progressive Democratic Party 5,499 0.6
David Farhat Free Democratic Party 4,497 0.5
George Klay Kieh New Deal Movement 4,476 0.5
Armah Jallah National Party of Liberia 3,837 0.4
Robert Kpoto Union of Liberian Democrats 3,825 0.4
George Kiadii National Vision Party of Liberia 3,646 0.4
Samuel Raymond Divine Independent 3,188 0.3
Alfred Reeves National Reformation Party 3,156 0.3
Invalid/blank votes 38,883 20,144
Total 1,012,673 100 825,716 100
Registere voters/turnout 1,352,730 74.9 1,352,730 61.0
Source: African Elections Database

House of Representatives[edit]

Party Votes % Seats
Congress for Democratic Change 157,753 16.87 15
Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia 137,897 14.74 8
Liberty Party 125,496 13.42 9
Unity Party 123,373 13.19 8
National Patriotic Party 78,751 8.42 4
Alliance for Peace and Democracy 38,285 4.09 5
New Deal Movement 35,721 3.82 3
National Democratic Party of Liberia 29,402 3.14 1
National Reformation Party 22,542 2.41 1
All Liberia Coalition Party 19,471 2.08 2
Free Democratic Party 19,326 2.07 0
United Democratic Alliance 13,958 1.49 1
Progressive Democratic Party 11,997 1.28 0
Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia 11,126 1.19 0
Union of Liberian Democrats 10,089 1.08 0
Labor Party of Liberia 7,811 0.84 0
Liberia Equal Rights Party 7,256 0.78 0
Reformed United Liberia Party 6,252 0.67 0
Liberian Destiny Party 5,493 0.59 0
National Vision Party of Liberia 3,443 0.37 0
National Party of Liberia 1,532 0.16 0
Independents 68,387 7.31 7
Invalid/blank votes 52,550
Total 987,911 100 64
Registered voters/turnout 1,291,541 76.49
Source: African Elections Database

Senate elections[edit]

As no Senate existed prior to the elections, each voter was eligible to cast two ballots for different candidates. The two candidates with the highest number of votes in each county were elected. The candidate with the highest share of votes became the senior senator for the county, elected to a nine-year term. The candidate with the second-highest share became the junior senator, elected to a six-year term. This method was chosen in order to reintroduce a staggered electoral system.

Party Votes % Seats
Congress for Democratic Change 252,677 14.94 3
Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia 232,636 13.76 7
Unity Party 222,705 13.17 4
Liberty Party 213,002 12.60 3
National Patriotic Party 178,259 10.54 3
Alliance for Peace and Democracy 119,091 7.04 3
National Democratic Party of Liberia 60,668 3.59 2
All Liberia Coalition Party 28,385 1.68 1
Progressive Democratic Party 17,262 1.02 0
Reformed United Liberia Party 13,293 0.79 0
Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia 13,050 0.77 0
National Reformation Party 12,037 0.71 1
United Democratic Alliance 11,265 0.67 0
Union of Liberian Democrats 5,503 0.33 0
New Deal Movement 4,264 0.25 0
Liberian Destiny Party 3,431 0.20 0
Labor Party of Liberia 1,645 0.10 0
Independents 301,729 17.84 3
Invalid/blank votes 31,206
Total 1,722,108 100 64
Source: NEC


  1. ^ "Liberia to hold elections October 11", Agence France-Presse (AFP), February 7, 2005.
  2. ^ "Liberia electoral reform bill signed into law", AFP, December 17, 2004.
  3. ^ "Football legend George Weah urged to stand for Liberian presidency", AFP, October 3, 2004.
  4. ^ Terence Sesay, "Presidential candidate Weah takes Monrovia by storm", Deutsche Presse-Agentur, November 24, 2004.
  5. ^ "Two Liberian candidates stand down to prevent delay of election", Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 6, 2005.
  6. ^ https://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051110/ap_on_re_af/liberia

External links[edit]

General information[edit]