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Sirleaf leads Liberian presidential vote, but a second round looms

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A warlord as 'kingmaker'?

Mr. Johnson has widely been quoted by media outlets saying he will be “the kingmaker” and has said he will support the CDC if either party was unable to take 51 percent of the vote and the elections were driven to a second round. Some analysts say it remains unclear as to whom Johnson will back. However there is a chance Johnson, who remains popular in his home county of Nimba, where he was elected as a senator in 2005, could determine who takes the presidency.

“He is a difficult man and he is erratic and unpredictable,” said Dan Saryee, executive director of the Liberia Democratic Institute. “Even though he pronounced that he supported CDC, because of his erratic nature I wouldn’t rely on that.”

However, Saryee says that Johnson is holding enough of the vote at the moment to pose a threat to the Unity Party’s chances at reelection. “If he [Johnson] still takes the same line and supports the CDC, it means that the Unity Party will have to do a lot of work. He does have a lot of the vote given the provisional results we have.”

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