On Monday, Liberia inaugurated a new president and the nation’s first female vice president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ended her presidency the way she began it—shattering precedent. The first woman to be elected president of an African nation has become the first Liberian president in 44 years to yield political power to a freely elected successor.
Sirleaf called for democratic elections after serving two terms as president—the maximum allowed by constitutional term limits. Opposition candidate George Weah defeated her own vice president Joseph Boakai handily in a recent runoff election. Sirleaf’s Unity Party now contends she interfered with the elections and violated a requirement to support fellow party members--charges that Sirleaf refutes.
To understand the legacy of Africa’s first elected woman president, we must go beyond today’s headlines and examine her 12 years in office.
Click here to read the full article published by Newsweek on 22 January 2018.