Liberians await election results as George Weah and Joseph Boakai vie for presidency

Votes are being counted in Liberia after Tuesday’s election with President George Weah seeking a second term.

Local and regional election observers said that polling was peaceful, despite clashes between rival political camps in the final days of the campaign.

Voter turnout was reported to be high in a campaign dominated by the economic crisis and corruption allegations.

The election commission said the first results would be announced later on Wednesday.

Mr Weah is the favourite to win, with his main challenger seen as former Vice-President Joseph Boakai.

But a run-off will be held if no candidate secures more than 50% of the votes cast.

Parliamentary elections were held along side the presidential election, with about 2.4 million people registered to cast their ballots .

The delivery of election materials to some remote areas in south-east Liberia was delayed by floods and muddy roads.

Some canoes that were transporting electoral staff and materials capsized, leading to to the loss of the election materials, but the National Elections Commission (NEC) said that voting was extended in those areas.

This is the first time that a generation of young voters, born in peace-time Liberia, voted in national elections.

A brutal civil war, which killed an estimated 250,000 people, ended two decades ago.

“I vote for the good of my country. I expect peace and development,” Agostina Momo, 18, who was voting for the first time, told the AFP news agency in the capital Monrovia.

The electoral commission is due to begin releasing initial results, but the final announcement will be done within 15 days.

Mr Weah, who was 1995 Fifa World Player of the Year, entered politics following his retirement from football.

He won his first term in 2017 after securing 61% of the vote in a run-off, defeating Mr Boakai.

Analysts say this might be the 78-year-old’s last attempt at the presidency.

Mr Boakai has waged his campaign under the slogan “Rescue”, arguing that the West African state went downhill during Mr Weah’s first six years in office.

Mr Weah has dismissed his claims, saying that he has made significant strides in his first term, including introducing free tuition for university students.

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