Liberians are anxiously awaiting the outcomes of a landmark presidential ballot pitting former soccer star George Weah in opposition to Vice President Joseph Boakai.
The election marks the first democratic switch of energy after many years and two devastating civil wars. The outcomes of the Tuesday runoff will likely be declared right this moment.
Whoever wins will succeed the continent’s first elected feminine head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who took over on the helm of Africa’s oldest republic in 2006.
“The Liberian people clearly made their choice… and all together we are very confident in the result of the electoral process,” tweeted Weah.
He topped the primary spherical of voting in October with 38.four % of ballots however did not win the 50 % essential to keep away from a run-off.
Weah is the one African ever to have received FIFA’s World Player of the Year and the coveted Ballon D’Or — one in every of soccer’s most prestigious awards.
The 51-year-old starred in top-flight European soccer groups Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan within the 1990s earlier than enjoying briefly in England for Chelsea and Manchester City later in his profession.
This is his third shot on the presidency and Chelsea icon Didier Drogba has already despatched Weah a congratulatory message.
“Is it President Weah?” stated the New Dawn newspaper on Thursday, referring to a person who has the backing of heavyweights together with former warlord Prince Johnson and apparently the covert help of outgoing president Sirleaf.
Sirleaf’s predecessor Charles Taylor fled the nation in 2003, hoping to keep away from prosecution for funding insurgent teams in neighbouring Sierra Leone. Two presidents who served previous to Taylor have been assassinated.
The tumultuous occasions of the previous seven many years in Liberia, the place an estimated 250,000 individuals died throughout back-to-back civil wars between 1989-2003, have prevented a democratic handover from going down since 1944.
The National Election Commission’s communication chief Henry Flomo stated: “The happiness of the NEC is that 48 hours after the vote all the things stays peaceable.
“Even those who were making strong statements on social media have started to change their tone. Everyone is saying that they have a common thing to protect, that is peace in Liberia. We will be announcing the provisional results today”.
“No matter the results, we will accept it without causing problems. We don’t need trouble here anymore,” stated Samuel Nuahn, 46, who voted for institution candidate Boakai in Tuesday’s runoff.
Boakai got here second with 28.eight % within the first spherical.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the “peaceful conduct” of the vote, praising “the government, political parties and the people of Liberia for the orderly poll”.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc additionally hailed the peaceable nature of the vote.