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Ellen rules out female successor

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President Ellen Johnson -Sirleaf says it is not likely that Liberiawill get a woman president right now to succeed her in the pending2017 presidential elections, rather directing female politicians andvoters be prepared “for the political game” and concentrate theirfight on infiltrating the Legislature.

She told a gathering of women political advocates at the Bella CassaHotel in Sinkor Thursday, 8 December that they got to be ready to takethe risk and challenge the system, stressing that they must work andearn their political space here.

President Sirleaf who won two successive terms here in 2005 and 2011,becoming Africa’s first female elected president, bluntly told thegathering ahead of the 2017 presidential elections that women will notget to power on a silver platter, but they must work for it.

More than 22 political parties are registered ahead of the 2017presidential and representatives elections, with dozens of known malepresidential aspirants compared to roughly a single femalepresidential aspirant.

President Sirleaf said women all over the world can get things done,not only in Liberia, assuring them that a lot of people will be behindthem if they take the challenge to compete for elected posts in theLegislature.

But she concluded that it was not the time for another womanpresidency, saying it was “not likely to get a woman president now;not this time.”

Prior to the president’s comments, she had been told by a leader ofthe women group Madam Ruth Caesar that just what they did in 2005 “bybreaking the glass ceiling” for both the Executive Mansion and theLegislature is what they were about to do in 2017.

In making a case for women elections, Madam Caesar boasted that undera woman leadership, they did well in having certain policies thatprotect women put in place, citing education policy for girls anddomestic laws that protect women, among others.

Madam Caesar said in this second edition they have classified fourissues that they will take to the Liberian voters in seeking power,which include health for family; empowerment for women in areas ofagriculture and business; political rights for women participation andsafer community which include security, justice and peace.

They are also advocating for more women representation in the media,climate change, natural resources such as oil and gas, and a whole lotof issues. She said they had received responses from 103,000questioners taken to the 15 counties, and a document had beenvalidated after a three day Liberia Women Manifesto Framework forum
which bears their manifesto for the 2017 elections.

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