Liberia's Ruling Party Expels Outgoing President Johnson Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Liberia’s ruling party expelled outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, saying she violated the party’s rules by not supporting its candidate, who was defeated in last month’s presidential election.

The Unity Party’s executive committee voted on Saturday to expel Johnson Sirleaf because she campaigned against Vice President Joseph Boakai in the election, according to an emailed statement from the party. Three other party officials were also expelled.

"The behavior of the expelled persons also constitutes sabotage and undermined the existence of the party," Mohammed Ali, assistant secretary-general for press and public affairs, said in the statement. Jerelimark Piah, Johnson Sirleaf’s press secretary, didn’t answer a call seeking comment.

Following the first round in October, the United Party accused Johnson Sirleaf of trying to influence the vote and intimidating election officials -- allegations that she denied.

Retired soccer star George Weah, 51, won the election runoff against Vice President Joseph Boakai, getting 61.5 percent of the votes. He’ll succeed Johnson Sirleaf, a Harvard-educated former banker who has ruled the West African nation for 12 years. Weah will be sworn in this month.

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