The Stanley Foundation has produced an excellent ten minute background video in the run up to Liberia’s national elections in October of this year. The video includes clips of people emphasizing the importance of elections in helping Liberia’s transition from a post-conflict society.
As we saw in Ivory Coast, Liberia’s neighbor, elections can also be divisive events. I think the Stanley Foundation has got it right with the title, “Upcoming Elections to Test Liberia’s Peace.” Among other things, the elections will test the sustainability of Liberia’s current democratic political process. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, sub-Saharan Africa’s first elected female chief of state, won the presidency in the elections of 2005 that most Liberians viewed as credible following years of civil war and profound social fragmentation. She is running for re-election in 2011.