24 November 2005

Secretary-General Congratulates Liberia's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as Africa's First Woman Head of State, Following Elections Commission Announcement

NEW YORK, 23 November (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes this morning's announcement by the National Elections Commission of the official results from the Liberian presidential run-off elections.  The results show that Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the Unity Party received 59.4 per cent and George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change 40.6 per cent of the total valid votes cast.  The Secretary-General extends his warm congratulations to Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf on her election as Africa's first woman Head of State in the modern era.

The Secretary-General notes that the National Elections Commission will continue to conduct active and open hearings on the complaints received concerning the conduct of the run-off elections, in accordance with the established legal procedures.  He urges a timely conclusion of this important process in order to allow all Liberians to focus on the urgent tasks of national reconciliation, reconstruction and good governance.  The Secretary-General wishes to assure the newly-elected Government of the continued support of the United Nations, as Liberia lays the foundations for lasting political stability and sustainable economic development.

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