Liberians today went to the poll to demonstrate their democratic rights by electing their president for another six years term following the departure of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf whose tenure ends in January 2018 after serving a two-year (12 years) term.
Also representatives of various districts in the counties were also pursed to be voted for by electorates; the electorates who were spoken to by our staff complained of the slowness of the process, noting that many of the poll workers were not adequately schooled in the performing of their respective duties.
Many of the polling places visited today by our staff, it was observed that long queue of first time voters (Now reaching the age of 18 to vote) dominated many of the polling centers visited around the city and its environs. Similar situation was also reported by our Correspondents around the country.
Many young people, predominantly first time voters, said they were voting for change, better education, improved infrastructure and peace. “I voted for change because I want Liberia to be one of the best,” said 19-year-old Martha. “We want someone who can build this country for us.”
Hundreds of local and international observers including journalists were in high gear to observe the entire process with ‘eagle eyes’, while Liberians themselves patiently in queue to cast their ballots in favor of their preferred candidates.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who is expected to hand over power to the next president in January 2018 was also at one of the polling centers to cast her vote in her home county, Bomi County, Western Liberia.
Upon voting, President Sirleaf told reporters she was glad that she had finally voted someone to replace her, jokingly saying “At least the talk shows will stop”.
She boasted of guiding the transition process and cautioned Liberians to vote someone who will work and build on her legacy.
“I feel good because I managed the process to get to this day so I have to feel good about today; but don’t forget that I have three more months,” she said with light laughter.
President Sirleaf shied away from telling reporters who she voted for but urged Liberians to not vote based on tribalism or religion.
Other presidential candidates voted at their respective polling centers.