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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Liberia's civil society and political activists in the 1984-85 election campaign: undermined by external coercion and inner division
Author:Gershoni, YekutielISNI
Periodical:Liberian Studies Journal
Geographic term:Liberia
Subjects:political opposition
civil society
election campaigns
Abstract:On 26 July 1984, four years into his military rule, Liberia's Head of State, Samuel Kanyon Doe, lifted the ban on political activities. The Special Election Commission (Secom) published guidelines for registering parties and for organizing the election campaign. In the course of the year, however, it became increasingly clear that Doe was systematically distorting the election process for his own benefit. In theory, civil society groups and political leaders who objected to Doe's running for office could have prevented Doe from fulfilling his political aspirations. This paper considers why they did not succeed in doing so. It concludes that the weakness of Liberia's civil society and the unwillingness of its politicians to sacrifice their own interests for the good of the nation meant that the call remained entirely in Doe's hands. Ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]