MONROVIA, Liberia — Sen. Kekura Kpoto has been dropped as chairman of the ruling National Democratic Party of Liberia in an apparent move to improve the party's image at home and abroad.
The 52-year-old Kpoto, a French-educated businessman and politician, was replaced by Mattia Sherman, who heads the women's wing of the party.
The change was announced late Monday at the end of a four-hour meeting of the party leadership chaired by Liberian President Samuel K. Doe.
A statement cited poor health as a reason for the change. However, political sources said it was part of an effort by Doe to clean up the party, which was accused of strong-arm tactics in October, 1985, when Doe was elected president. The opposition said the vote was rigged.