Ex-Milan footballer George Weah up against vice-president in Liberia election run-off

An ex-footballer is up against the vice president in Liberia's run-off election on Tuesday, after legal challenges delayed the vote

Liberians are electing a new president on Tuesday in a run-off vote between Vice-President Joseph Boakai and former international footballer George Weah.

Polls opened at 08:00 GMT and will close at 18:00, as more than two million people are eligible to cast their vote.

Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), led 21 other presidential candidates in the first round with 38 per cent of the total votes cast but did not secure the required 50% for an outright victory, while Boakai came second with 29 per cent. (NAN)

Legal challenges delayed the vote to replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female president.

Liberia's former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Liberia's former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

A representative for the opposition Liberty Party, Charles Brumskine had challenged the result saying it had been marred by "massive fraud and irregularities" after coming third in October's first round.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that evidence of fraud was insufficient to merit a re-run for the opening round.

The verdict meant that the run-off election, which had initially been set for 7 November, could go ahead.

A representative for the opposition  Liberty Party, Charles Brumskine, who came third in October's first round, challenged the result saying it had been marred by "massive fraud and irregularities".

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that evidence of fraud was insufficient to merit a re-run for the opening round.

The verdict meant that the run-off election, which had initially been set for 7 November, could go ahead.

Liberia, which was founded by freed US slaves in the 19th Century, has not had a smooth transfer of power in 73 years. This will be the first time for many generations in Liberia to witness a transfer of power from one elected leader to another.

Spokesman of the commission, Henry Flomo, stated in Monrovia on Monday that the electoral umpire had done everything “humanly possible’’ for a smooth process

Outgoing President Sirleaf has praised a violence-free electoral process, saying that "the ballot box has replaced bullets and electoral disputes are settled through the courts".

 

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