Liberian Presidential Election Heads for Second Round as Candidates Tie

by Ikem Emmanuel

Liberia is set for a second round of voting in its presidential election as the official provisional results indicate a closely contested race between incumbent President George Weah and opposition candidate Joseph Boakai. With over 94 percent of ballots counted, Boakai secured 43.70 percent of the vote, while Weah, a former international football star seeking a second term, garnered 43.65 percent. The two front-runners outpaced the 18 other presidential candidates in the first round of voting held on October 10.

The National Electoral Commission of Liberia confirmed that ballot counting was nearly complete in nearly 93 percent of polling stations. However, neither Weah nor Boakai is expected to secure an absolute majority, necessitating a run-off election. The run-off is planned for two weeks following the announcement of official results, but potential appeals could delay the process.

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The peaceful election has been commended by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS and the African Union, both praising the Liberian government and the election commission for their organization of the vote, which witnessed a high participation rate. This election is particularly significant as it marks the first since the United Nations ended its peacekeeping mission in Liberia in 2018. The mission was established after the country endured two devastating civil wars between 1989 and 2003, resulting in the loss of over 250,000 lives. The election’s outcome will determine Liberia’s future leadership and its continued path towards stability and development.

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