Many expected Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to face a tough time winning re-election last fall. First elected in 2005 for a 6-year term, she had made progress on solving some of the many problems Liberia faces after more than a decade of civil strife and war, but many challenges, such as reducing the country's high unemployment rate and what some perceived as her indifference to tackling widespread corruption, loomed as she prepared for re-election last year. Despite these problems, Sirleaf easily garnered over 40 percent of the vote in the first round, sending her into the second round against Winston Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change Party (CDC) of former soccer star George Weah, which she won without much sweat after the CDC boycotted the polls, claiming fraud and bias on the part of the National Election Commission.
So how did she pull it off? The Chairman of Sirleaf's ruling Unity Party, Varney Sherman, answers this and other questions about Sirleaf's victory and her broad plans for a second term in an exclusive interview with the African World