Soccer star Weah leads election count
MONROVIA: Former soccer star George Weah leads in partial presidential election results in 11 of Liberia’s 15 counties, the electoral commission said on Thursday, after a vote meant to bring about the country’s first democratic transfer of power in decades.
Early results from Tuesday’s poll read to reporters by the commission’s chairperson left Weah’s camp confident he would win the outright majority he needs to avoid a run-off, even though most counties had reported tallies from less than a third of polling stations.
The other favourite in the 20-candidate field, Vice-President Joseph Boakai, led in just one county, although he was running in second in most others.
“I can say for sure that Ambassador George Manneh Weah is going to be the next president of the Republic of Li- beria,” Weah’s adviser Mulbah Morlu told Reuters.
The final results must be announced by October 25 and a run-off will be held next month if no one has won a majority.
Before the commission’s announcement, parties backing three other candidates alleged fraud and vowed to contest the results. But international observers said they had seen no major problems with the vote.
Observers from the U.S.based Carter Centre and National Democratic Institute (NDI) also said they had not identified any major issues with the voting or subsequent counting.
However, none of the parties provided evidence of cheating. A Unity Party leader declined to respond to the accusations.
Liberia was founded by freed U.S. slaves in 1847 but its last democratic power transfer occurred in 1944. – Reuters
George Weah, presidential candidate of Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) in Liberia, shows his voter’s card at a polling station.