Liberia's election closes chapter of history – but for voters, past is present

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Liberia's election closes chapter of history – but for voters, past is presentOn a recent afternoon in the run-up to Liberia’s Oct. 10 presidential election, supporters of the country’s ruling Unity Party spilled out onto the streets outside its low-slung green headquarters, their fists full of party handouts. Somewhere deep in the crowd, someone had strapped a giant speaker to the back of a pickup truck, and cranked the volume up to full. The “Taylor” in question was Charles Taylor, the one-time warlord and president of Liberia now serving 50 years in a British prison for crimes against humanity. A decade after the end of a brutal civil war, one democratically elected president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is about to willingly step aside for another – something that has never before happened in the lifetime of most of the population.



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