Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to stand again

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is Africa's first elected female head of state

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said she intends to seek a second term of office, despite promises to only serve one six-year term.

The 71-year-old president said she wanted to end the speculation about her intentions in 2011.

Her spokesman Cyrus Badio said she had not realised before the 2005 poll how much work needed to be done in Liberia, which is recovering from years of war.

She become Africa's first elected female head of state.

She won 59% of the vote in a run-off against football star George Weah.

Mr Weah gained most votes in the first round of the poll which followed the end of the war in 2003.

"I know where we are today, I know where we ought to be tomorrow and I know how we will get there," she told a joint assembly of MPs gathered for her annual message.

The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh in the capital, Monrovia, said her announcement was greeted by raucous applause.

But opposition politicians have been less enthusiastic, he says.

Charles Brumskine, who came third in the 2005 presidential poll, said he was concerned about Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf's age.

"Mrs Sirleaf has done what she could do, I think she's reached the limit of her capacity," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

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