Former football star Senator George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai are headed for a run-off as nearly all the results Liberia’s presidential elections have been declared.
They lead the field of 20 candidates who competed to succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female elected president and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Weah is currently leading with 39% of votes followed by Boakai who is second place with 29% out of the over 90% of polling station results counted. The other candidates out of the 20 have below 10% of the votes led by Charles Brumskine who is third place with 9.8%.
Two polling stations in the Nimba County are yet to vote on Tuesday after disruptions in the process on October 10. The rest of the votes yet to be declared by the National Elections Commission including that of the two polling stations cannot push any candidate to the 50% mark therefore, a second round is imminent.
The final results will be announced on October 25 and the run-off will be held a month later. A second round between the pair has been set for 7 November.
Mr Weah’s former manager on the football field, Arsene Wenger, was earlier this week apparently duped by false reports that he had already been elected president.
He told reporters: “It’s not often you have a former player who becomes president of a country. So well done, Georgie.”
Meet the frontrunners
George Weah, 51:
- Former Fifa World Footballer of the Year
- Arsene Wenger, now at Arsenal, was his coach at Monaco in the 1990s
- Has the political backing of jailed warlord and former president Charles Taylor
- Taylor’s ex-wife, Jewel Howard Taylor, is his running mate
Joseph Boakai, 73:
- Nicknamed “Sleepy Joe”
- Denies it is because he is often caught napping at public events, says it is because he is a dreamer
- Vice-president under Ellen Johnson Sirleaf since 2005
- Has distanced himself from her record, saying “a lot more needs to be achieved”
Liberia, which was founded by freed US slaves in the 19th Century, has not had a smooth transfer of power in 73 years. Ms Sirleaf took office in 2006, after her predecessor, Charles Taylor, was forced out of office by rebels in 2003, ending a long civil war.
Taylor is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence in the UK for war crimes related to the conflict in neighbouring Sierra Leone. Mr Weah, 51, has chosen Taylor’s ex-wife Jewel Howard Taylor as his running mate.
Author: Staff Writer