Liberia’s ruling Unity Party has expelled the country’s outgoing president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is accused by party leaders of meddling in last year’s presidential elections in which its candidate suffered a bruising defeat.
Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been in power for 12 years, denies the party’s allegations that she held inappropriate private meetings with election magistrates before the Oct. 10 vote. Four other party officials were also expelled, the party said in a statement distributed on Sunday.
The behaviour of the expelled persons … constitutes sabotage and undermined the existence of the party,” said the statement announcing the decision, which was taken by the party’s executive committee late on Saturday.
A senior official in Johnson Sirleaf’s office declined to comment on the decision. The president and other officials were not immediately available on Sunday.
Former soccer star George Weah defeated the Unity Party’s Joseph Boakai in a landslide, marking the first democratic transition of power in Liberia.
Johnson Sirleaf was not allowed to run for re-election due to constitutional term limits.