Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Liberia polls close in presidential election

Liberia polls close in presidential election Liberia polls close in presidential election
Bennie Garza | 12 October, 2017, 14:11

A presidential candidate must win more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a second round. But the Observer reports that he and Joseph Boakai, of the ruling Unity Party, dominated polling and emerged far ahead of the rest of the field. Those already in line are being allowed to vote.

Emerging reports indicate that the election is nearly certain to go to a run-off with 20 candidates contesting to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in a contest that completes the country's first democratic transition of power in more than 70 years.

The election marks the end of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's tenure.

Among the front-runners are Vice President Joseph Boaka and former worldwide soccer star George Weah. She led the country's recovery from a 14-year civil war and guided this West African country through the Ebola crisis that killed almost 5 000 people.

The United States called the election "an important step toward achieving Liberia's first peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected head of state to another in decades".

Numerous more than 2.1 million voters are calling for a president who will improve the economy and access to electricity.

The Liberty Party, whose candidate Charles Brumskine was considered a front-runner to take over from Nobel Peace Prize victor and outgoing leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said it would consider taking legal action if the National Elections Commission (NEC) did not act on its demands.

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