Liberia president optimistic over runoff vote

By the Associated Press | October 20, 2011 | 4:30 AM EDT

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia's president says she's optimistic over a runoff after poll results show she failed to gain the majority needed to win outright.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said late Sunday she is ready for a Nov. 8 runoff against Winston Tubman. With 96 percent of polling stations counted, she led with around 44 percent. Election officials say the remaining results won't change much.

Sirleaf, who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year with two other women, says she is disappointed she didn't win outright in the Oct. 11 vote, but "we came out very well ahead."

Harvard-trained Sirleaf was Africa's first democratically elected female president. She is viewed abroad as a reformer but Tubman's camp portrays her as out of touch with the impoverished population.