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2017 General Election, Leadership and Development Survey – Liberia

Country Population – 4.5 million estimated
Population 2,000,000 Likely Voters
Margin of Error ±1.0 percentage points
Polling Method Internet (Social Media, Email and Phone Calls)
Source: Globe Afrique Institute
This poll asked respondents 5 questions tracked by Globe Afrique Institute’s Pollster. Read our FAQ.

 

If the 2017 presidential elections were being held today among the following candidates, for whom would you vote?
Asked of 50,356 Likely Voters

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If the 2017 presidential elections were being held today among the following candidates, who would you like to see win based on experience, trust, honesty and academic qualifications?
Asked of 50,356 Likely Voters

 

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Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Ellen Johnson Sirelaf is handling her job as president?
Asked of 50,356 Likely Voters

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Do you think or support that the next President of Liberia audit all former officials of the Sirleaf’s administration as well as carry out asset tracing with help from Interpol and the US and Swiss governments?
Asked of 50,356 Likely Voters

 

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Do you think,  believe or agree that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s interference in the electoral process would create electoral violence and chaos?
Asked of 50,356 Likely Voters

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The Globe Afrique Monthly Opinion and Election Tracking Poll tracks voter preferences and attitudes and thought processes monthly on specific issues and actions, or throughout an election cycle.
Results are usually released every second Saturday of every month at 12:00AM.

Note
The Globe Afrique Pollster Policy for Including Polls in Charts
Since our founding as Globe Afrique Polls in 2016, Globe Afrique Pollster (originally fact-checkers) has aimed to report the results of every public poll that claims to provide a representative sample of the population or electorate. Our criteria have always been fair and expansive — we have included polls of varying methodology, including automated, recorded voice telephone poll and online surveys using non-probability internet samples.

Since last month, we tightened our criteria, requiring all polls from new organization (or those new to us), to meet the minimal disclosure requirements of the National Council on Public Polling. We have always excluded polls that fail to disclose survey dates, sample size and sponsorship; however, going forward, and consistent with these policies, we may also choose in our editorial discretion to exclude polls or pollsters that do not provide sufficient methodological information for us or our readers to determine their quality.

The required elements are:
* Sponsorship of the survey
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* Population that was sampled (for example, general population; registered voters; likely voters; or any specific population group defined by gender, race, age, occupation or any other characteristic)
* Size of the sample that serves as the primary basis of the survey report
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Additionally, telephone polls that do not make some effort to include cell phone only users — 48 percent of American adults, and even higher proportions of young people and minorities — may be excluded at our discretion.

We believe our policies will benefit our users and help provide meaningful information. Questions? Email us at info@globeafrique.com.

 

Vice President Joseph N. Boakai
Vice President Joseph N. Boakai – Ruling Unity Party

Joseph Boakai is currently Vice President of Liberia and has been since January 2006, serving under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Previously he served as Minister of Agriculture from 1983 to 1985.

Vice President Boakai has been a civil servant for close to 40 years. During his professional career, he also served as Resident Manager of the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC) from 1973 to 1980 and Managing Director of the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC) from 1980 to 1982 and finally, Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) in 1992. Vice President Boakai holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Liberia. In addition to national work experience, he has consulted for the United Nations and numerous local entities in Liberia.

Because of his deep sense and maturity in processing information and calming situations, he is frequently referred to as the elder in the room, and is considered the most logical and dignified official in the current Liberian administration. V.P. Boakai is also counted as the longest serving and most experienced in government than all those seeking the Office of President of the Republic of Liberia.

 

Dr. Joseph Mills Jones
Dr. Joseph Mills Jones – Movement for Economic Empowerment

Dr. Joseph Mills Jones is the former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.

Dr. Jones was born in Sinoe County to the union of Mr. Joseph Humphrey Jones and Mrs. Catherine Cooper Jones. His father was a small business owner and his mother, a school teacher.

He served as Liberia’s Central Bank Governor under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from 2006 to mid-2016 when his tenure expired. Prior to that, he held international economy policy positions in the United States with international organizations.

As central bank’s governor, he introduced and championed an economic empowerment effort to help small business owners in Liberia. Through that economic empowerment initiatives, at least, several ordinary Liberians benefited from loan assistance to help engage in some economic operations instead of the resources being stolen by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in government.

Dr. Jones faced criticisms for those efforts because he allegedly blended the bank’s loan scheme with political campaign messages and his desire for the Office of President. Moreover, he and the central bank did not put in place proper mechanism that would have prevented massive default and losses, which of course happened due to failure to repay.  The loan scheme also had not employability effect since it didn’t lead to job creation. Despite these shortcoming, he is heavily favored by small business people and comes across as having a genuine interest in improving the economic lives of all Liberians through economic decentralization even though the path to that needs more work.

 

Dr. Jallah Allen Barbu
Cllr. Dr. Jallah Allen Barbu – New Liberia Party

Cllr. Dr.  Jallah Allen Barbu is a respected Liberian lawyer who is considered by many, as perhaps, the smartest of the field of candidates. He  earned a Diploma in Machinery from Booker Washington Institute (BWI) and matriculated at the University of Liberia, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Law degree from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law. He them enrolled at the University of Indiana, Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana, USA where he earned his Masters and Doctorate (SJD) degrees in Law.

Counsellor Barbu is an associate professor at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, and is also the founder and first Director of Abbidoe Law Office in Liberia as well as the Barbu and Howard Law Firms. Dr. Barbu is a co-author of Liberia’s first Constitutional Commentary and the author of Liberia’s first Constitutional Law Course Book. He is the former Secretary General of the Liberia National Bar Association. He is also the former Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, a Liberian government entity. With a doctorate in law, he is believed to be the first and only Liberian with a PhD in law.

Inspired by his Catholic faith, he is known and regarded for his humility, intelligence, innovative thinking, credibility, honesty, transparency and the ability to get things done. Barbu comes across as the ultimate consensus candidate in a deeply polarized nation that is seriously in need of the re-establishment of the rule of law, accountability, transparency, good governance and national reconciliation.  Dr. Barbu and his wife are lawyers and both hailed from two of the most strategic political sub divisions/ regions of the country – Lofa and Nimba counties respectively.  People familiar with him and his thinking speak of his desire to see a better Liberia where everyone will be lifted up economically, socially, religiously and at the same time live in peace.

He appeals to people on either side of the political spectrum and religious divide. If successful,  he will be the first Catholic faithful to have served as President of Liberia since its founding.  Almost all Liberian presidents have been evangelical Christians, even though the Catholic Church provides the best schooling and has been serving as the moral compass of the country for last several decades.  Dr. Barbu’s appeal is his ability to connect with people personally and professionally, and to instantly identify with them.  Some analysts believe a Barbu’s leadership would eliminate corruption, restore public trust and hope, unite the country and usher in progressive agenda for economic prosperity and social accountability.

Benoni Urey
Mr. Benoni Urey – All Liberians Party

Benoni W. Urey was born on June 22, 1957. Urey is an established and successful Liberian businessman and politician.  He is the former and most known  Commissioner of the Liberian Bureau of Maritime Affairs.   He is also regarded as the country’s foremost indigenous Liberian employers, after the Lebanese and Indian communities in the country.

Like many of the other candidates, Urey is an American educated, with a degree from an American university in California.  He has vast work experience in both the private and public sectors of the country. He is considered a Liberian job creator because of his commitment to invest in all sectors of Liberia, from agriculture to telecommunications, including being a part owner of the country’s largest mobile phone carriers in addition to his ownership in multiple radio stations and other smaller business venture. Urey is a no-nonsense personality who character many believe is appropriate to drastically transform a nation that is stocked in disarray and corruption. His critics say he is forceful, direct and blunt but his admirers believe that is the posture of a CEO who believes in results rather than cheap political talks that end up with no result.  Considering the mindset of Liberian politicians and dire social failures in the country, analysts believe having a man like Urey at a higher level of government could help put things in the proper perspectives in the country.

So far, he is the only blunt candidate who speaks his mind on national issues no matter the consequences.  Urey believes if one is an opposition, he or she should not compromise his dignity for personal gains because hundreds of followers that believe in them must be able to continuously trust them in private and in the open.  His driving message is to put more and more Liberians to work.  Some analysts believe a Urey presidency would reduce Liberia’s unemployment rate to less than 5% as well as drive more investors to the country.  Urey is a Christian.

Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine
Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine – Liberty Party

Charles Walker Brumskine (born 27 April 1951) is a Liberian politician and attorney. He is the Political Leader of the Liberty Party and came third in the 2005 presidential election. He is considered to be one of the well-known established corporate lawyers and opposition politician in Liberia, and he challenged Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the Presidency in 2011. He is also the senior partner of Brumskine & Associates, a leading Liberian law firm, and a former president of the Liberian senate.

Apart from being an American trained lawyer and respected African corporate counsel, Brumskine is a man of deep faith and honesty who is passionate for a change that will elevate all Liberians.  When most politicians were afraid of standing up to Charles Taylor, Brumskine did on principle by resigning his position as president of the Liberian senate and contesting against Taylor despite being at risk.  People familiar with Brumskine admire his deep Christian faith and ability connect with people in need.

He strongly believes that politics does not have to dirty and hostile and that people can disagree, but they have to be civil and treat one another with respect and dignity.  Brumskine has been consistent in his argument for a better Liberia where every Liberian citizen can have access to basic needs, practice their faith and live in harmony with one another.  He has closed friends from both ends – the Islamic and Christian faiths as well as among those in the opposition and the government.  This model of transforming politics into decency has generated criticisms where some accused him of being too closed to those in power.  However, his admirers argue that for a Liberia that needs serious reconciliation, people with the posture of Brumskine that can reach across the aisle, despite policies and political disagreements, would be the kind of leadership the country needs in these difficult times to unite the nation. Brumskine is a Christian, desires to elevate civility in the country’s political, social and economic interaction as well as in the lives of all Liberians. He is kind, soft spoken and gentle.

Mr. Alex Cummings
Mr. Alexander Cummings – Alternative National Congress

Alexander B. Cummings, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Coca-Cola Company.

Mr. Cummings was Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest beverage manufacturer, from 2008 until his retirement in March 2016.

He served as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company’s Africa Group from 2001 until 2008 and was President of the North & West Africa Division from 2000 to 2001.
Mr. Cummings joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1997 as Region Manager, Nigeria.

Prior to that, he held various management positions with The Pillsbury Company, a food services and manufacturing company, including Vice President of Finance for Pillsbury International. Cummings is perhaps the best-known Liberian with the most international corporate experience and global credibility who is trying to connect with the Liberian people having stayed out of the country for decades.  Cummings brings a lot of global corporate experience and personal wealth, and is seen as some someone who will be non-corruptible but at the same time more efficient.

Cummings hails from a region (Cape Palmas) and ethnic group (Grebo) that many in the country admire and respect for their sense of harmony, peaceful co-existence and neutral roles in the polarization of the nation.  In addition, his global and acclaimed corporate experience makes him more abreast with the importance of advance infrastructure, energy, improved health services and the maximization and harnessing of resources for effective governance. Managing the entire administrative infrastructure of a global conglomerate like Coca Cola that has to meet all sorts of competitive intricacies, and where he had to balance competing interests, protocols, and regulations worldwide for a global population is more than running a small nation like Liberia.

His critics say while he is a gentleman of distinction, his mold of politics referred to as political humanitarianism is a wrong dose for Liberia.  Instead of dishing out goodies which appears to be vote buying, people expect him to give the Liberian people a platform and reason to trust and believe in him as well as his vision for Liberia.  Others before him give short term goodies to the Liberian people because they had the resources and connections but when they took offices, the game changed.  They argued that why Cummings did not do all the humanitarian work for Liberians when thousands of people were refugees but had to wait until he wants to become president.  Cummings’ supporters argue that he is helping his fellow Liberians because he has the Liberian people at heart.  One thing certain, while Cummings is a novice to Liberian politics, his probable leadership would give instant international credibility to the country because of his global relationships as former chief administrative officer of Coca Cola.  Cummings is a Christian.

Senator George Oppong Weah
Senator George Oppong Weah – Congress for Democratic Change

George Oppong Manneh Weah is an ex- international soccer icon turned humanitarian and politician. He is the founder of the Congress for Democratic Change political party which is generally populated by young people who loyalty to him is largely based on his soccer skills and acts of goodwill when he played for Major League Soccer teams in France, Italy and the UK.

While a soccer star, he provided assistance to numerous Liberians and Liberian causes, including single-handily supporting the country’s national team and helping many in refugee camps. He is currently a sitting senator representing Montserrado County in the Liberian senate. Senator Weah is perhaps the most popular Liberian alive, but his political competence is dwindling down especially after he became a Liberian senator where many think he has been ineffective, at best.

Weah, a former United Nations’ goodwill ambassador was a Christian at birth, then converted to Islam during the height of his soccer career and then converted back to Christianity.  Many believe he could make a respected political leader but his serious problem has been his surroundings, the caliber of people he hangs around as core group and inner circle, and that shape his political direction. Moreover, the senator needs to make it clear that is running so as to give voter a sense of he would not future a standard-bearer and play second-tier.

It is difficult to determine Senator Weah’s political perspective and economic agenda  since he does not talk much about those things.  What is certain though is that he has garnered a lot of support from youth because of his soccer career and not necessarily because of his political views.  Channeling that popularity into a managed political fortune has become the challenge he faces from time to time, particularly when many of inner circles are professionally unready, and at best act as if governance and politics are a soccer match.  In the past and even now, some heavy weight Liberian politicians associated with him not because they believe there is any substantive bond or platform, but because they only needed his celebrity popularity to get them elected. After that, they saw no usefulness in his political leadership.  But the Senator has now become fully aware of this and is taking steps to address that with new heavy weight political followers.

Since the 2017’s election is still about 11 months away, the Senator has some time to reorganize his inner orbit by redirecting the tone of his most trusted aides, increasing his immediate political surroundings and developing more ideas for a way forward.  He can do so by being proactive and don’t wait until his hard earned popularity varnishes for good.

NOTE:

THERE ARE MANY OTHER CANDIDATES IN THE LIBERIAN PRESIDENTIAL PROCESS. HOWEVER, THESE DO NOT MEET OUR REQUIREMENTS TO BE CONSIDERED AS SERIOUS CANDIDATES.  MANY OF THEM APPEARED TO BE SEEKING ATTENTION FOR POSIBLE PLACEMENTS IN A FUTURE LIBERIAN ADMINISTRATION POST-2017.

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