The expulsion comes on the back of earlier accusations that Mrs. Sirleaf interfered in the first round of voting to favor Mr. Weah.
The president’s press secretary, Jerolimnek Piah, said Mrs. Sirleaf would respond to her expulsion and the allegations on Monday.
Nathaniel McGill, the chairman of Mr. Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change party, called the claims of financial and political support from the outgoing president “rubbish.”
Mr. Weah, a celebrated former soccer player who also ran for president in 2005 and vice president in 2011, defeated Mr. Boakai by a large margin in a runoff election in December, gaining 61.5 percent of the vote. The vote, initially scheduled for Nov. 9, had been delayed by more than six weeks amid fraud allegations and a Supreme Court challenge.
Mrs. Sirleaf responded to that contesting of the results by saying that the nation’s democracy was “under assault.” After the runoff results were announced, Mr. Boakai conceded defeat to Mr. Weah and offered to aid his government, but also referred to previous fraudulent elections in his concession speech.
Mrs. Sirleaf, a Harvard-educated Nobel laureate, never publicly endorsed Mr. Boakai or campaigned for him, and remained distant from her party. Many members called for her expulsion months ago.
The expulsion is thought to be connected to a rift between Mrs. Sirleaf and the party’s chairman, Varney Sherman, a lawyer who last year was accused by the activist organization Global Witness of being involved in a bribery scandal. The group claimed that his law firm had facilitated bribes to lawmakers in an attempt to pass legislation favorable to a mining company. Mrs. Sirleaf’s government initiated a trial of Mr. Sherman, which has not yet concluded.
Government corruption has persisted during Mrs. Sirleaf’s two terms in office.
Analysts say that the president’s expulsion from the party could raise questions about her legacy.
“The dominant narrative is of her being a leader that promoted good governance — this expulsion will lead people to question that narrative,” said Ibrahim al-Bakri Nyei, a Liberian who is completing a Ph.D. at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. “It will leave room for people to ask questions as to why she didn’t support the party.”
But for some it appeared that the president may have abandoned her party long before it expelled her.
“She clearly wasn’t in support of her party, and that is a big deal because it hasn’t happened in our political history,” said Aaron Weah, the director of Search for Common Ground, a nongovernmental organization focused on conflict resolution.
While the expulsion is yet another chapter in Liberia’s recent political drama, analysts take it as a sign that the nation’s democracy is maturing since its second civil war ended in 2003.
Last year’s elections unfolded peacefully, with parties and citizens respecting the Supreme Court’s rulings. Now, parties are expelling their leaders in accordance with their own rules.
“It shows,” Aaron Weah said, “that political parties are beyond the influence of a president or one particular person.”
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