2005 Liberian general election

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2005 Liberian general election

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Presidential election
11 October 2005 (first round)
8 November 2005 (second round)
  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 59.40% 40.60%

2005 Liberian presidential election map by county (1st round).svg
2005 Liberian presidential election map by county (2nd round).svg

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 2004. 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.

CandidateRunning matePartyFirst roundSecond round
Ellen Johnson SirleafJoseph BoakaiUnity Party192,32619.75478,52659.40
George WeahJ. Rudolph JohnsonCongress for Democratic Change275,26528.27327,04640.60
Charles BrumskineAmelia Angeline WardLiberty Party135,09313.87
Winston TubmanJeremiah SuluntehNational Democratic Party of Liberia89,6239.20
Varney ShermanJohn Kollehlon FaniaCoalition for the Transformation of Liberia76,4037.85
Roland MassaquoiQ. Somah Paygai Sr.National Patriotic Party40,3614.14
Joseph KortoJames Kollie Barclay Jr.Liberia Equal Rights Party31,8143.27
Alhaji G.V. KromahEmmanuel Mac Russell Sr.All Liberia Coalition Party27,1412.79
Togba-Nah TipotehMarcus S. G. DahnAlliance for Peace and Democracy22,7662.34
William V.S. Tubman Jr.Garlo Isaac WilliamsReformed United Liberia Party15,1151.55
John MorluJoseph Omaxline DemenUnited Democratic Alliance12,0681.24
Nathaniel BarnesParleh Dargbeh HarrisLiberian Destiny Party9,3250.96
Margaret Tor-ThompsonJ. Rudolph Marsh Sr.Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia8,4180.86
Joseph Woah-TeeSamuel Washington Broh I.Labor Party of Liberia5,9480.61
Sekou ConnehEdward Yarkpawolo SaliProgressive Democratic Party5,4990.56
David FarhatSaah Ciapha GbollieFree Democratic Party4,4970.46
George Klay KiehAlaric TokpaNew Deal Movement4,4760.46
Armah JallahIsaac G. Sammy Sr.National Party of Liberia3,8370.39
Robert KpotoSylvester Bondo SingbeUnion of Liberian Democrats3,8250.39
George KiadiiWashington Shadrack McGillNational Vision Party of Liberia3,6460.37
Samuel Raymond DivineJacob Gbanalagaye Mamu Sr.Independent3,1880.33
Alfred ReevesMartin Mohammed Njavola SherifNational Reformation Party3,1560.32
Valid votes973,79096.16805,57297.56
Invalid/blank votes38,8833.8420,1442.44
Total votes1,012,673100.00825,716100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,352,73074.861,352,73061.04
Source: National Elections Commission

House of Representatives[edit]

Congress for Democratic Change157,75316.8715
Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia137,89714.748
Liberty Party125,49613.429
Unity Party123,37313.198
National Patriotic Party78,7518.424
Alliance for Peace and Democracy38,2854.095
New Deal Movement35,7213.823
National Democratic Party29,4023.141
National Reformation Party22,5422.411
All Liberia Coalition Party19,4712.082
Free Democratic Party19,3262.070
United Democratic Alliance13,9581.491
Progressive Democratic Party11,9971.280
Freedom Alliance Party11,1261.190
Union of Liberian Democrats10,0891.080
Labor Party of7,8110.840
Liberia Equal Rights Party7,2560.780
Reformed United Liberia Party6,2520.670
Liberia Destiny Party5,4930.590
National Vision Party of Liberia3,4430.370
National Party of Liberia1,5320.160
Valid votes935,36194.68
Invalid/blank votes52,5505.32
Total votes987,911100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,291,54176.49
Source: African Elections Database


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.

Congress for Democratic Change252,67714.943
Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia232,63613.767
Unity Party222,70513.174
Liberty Party213,00212.603
National Patriotic Party178,25910.543
Alliance for Peace and Democracy119,0917.043
National Democratic Party60,6683.592
All Liberia Coalition Party28,3851.681
Progressive Democratic Party17,2621.020
Reformed United Liberia Party13,2930.790
Freedom Alliance Party13,0500.770
National Reformation Party12,0370.711
United Democratic Alliance11,2650.670
Union of Liberian Democrats5,5030.330
New Deal Movement4,2640.250
Liberia Destiny Party3,4310.200
Labor Party1,6450.100
Registered voters/turnout1,291,541
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. ^ Liberia set for first woman president Al Jazeera, 10 November 2015

External links[edit]

General information[edit]