ELECTIONS: Runoff Is Eminent, As George Weah Still Lead

Liberia Presidential Candidate George Weah (File : AFP)

Former international soccer star George Weah maintained an early lead in Liberia’s election on Friday as the West African nation released a second round of provisional results of the vote to succeed Africa’s first female president.

With 20 candidates, observers expect a runoff election. National Election Commission Chairperson Jerome Korkoya has warned candidates’ supporters against declaring victory until final results are announced, which must be done by October 25. A candidate must get just over 50% to avoid a runoff.

Based on about 33% of the votes cast at more than 5 300 polling stations, Weah had 39.6% of the ballots counted. He held a slight lead over Vice President Joseph Boakai, who received 31.1%, according to election commission data. Charles Brumskine was third with 9.3%.

Liberia seeks a successor to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who led the country as it recovered from civil war and the Ebola outbreak that killed nearly 5 000 Liberians.

The 51-year-old Weah is a former striker for AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. His youthful Congress for Democratic Change party is in a coalition with two others, including the National Patriotic Party of now-jailed former President Charles Taylor. Weah’s running mate is Jewel Howard-Taylor, Taylor’s ex-wife.

Boakai, who has been vice president for nearly 12 years, is running for the ruling Unity Party.

One of Liberia’s largest political parties has called for a halt to vote-counting, alleging voting irregularities and fraud. The Liberty Party claims that polls opened late and that ballot-tampering occurred in at least one location in the capital, Monrovia.

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Source: News 24

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About Cholo Brooks 17519 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.