Fo­tos – Use peo­ple in a queue Liberia votes

Daily Nation Newspaper - - UPDATES OF -

MONROVIA - Liberi­ans yes­ter­day went to the polls to choose a suc­ces­sor to Africa's first elected fe­male pres­i­dent and No­bel Peace lau­re­ate Ellen John­son Sir­leaf.

Ex-foot­ball star Ge­orge Weah and Vice-Pres­i­dent Joseph Boakai are the main con­tenders in the race to suc­ceed her.

Liberia, founded by freed US slaves in the 19th Cen­tury, has not had a smooth trans­fer of power in 73 years.

Sir­leaf urged peo­ple to vote peace­fully in a na­tion still re­cov­er­ing from a 14-year civil war.

"Your vote is about you and your fam­ily - not party, eth­nic­ity," she said in an ad­dress to the na­tion.

A to­tal of 20 pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates are run­ning to suc- ceed Sir­leaf. They in­clude Alex Cum­mings, a for­mer Coca-Cola ex­ec­u­tive, and MacDella Cooper, an ex-model and girl­friend of Weah.

Sir­leaf, 78, is step­ping down at the end of her two terms.

She took of­fice in 2006, af­ter her pre­de­ces­sor, Charles Tay­lor, was forced out of of­fice by reb- els in 2003.

Tay­lor is cur­rently serv­ing a 50-year prison sen­tence in the UK for war crimes re­lated to the con­flict in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

Weah, 51, has cho­sen Tay­lor’s ex-wife Jewel Howard Tay­lor as his run­ning mate. This is the for­mer foot­baller of the year’s third at­tempt to be­come pres­i­dent.

Sir­leaf has failed to cam­paign for Boakai, fu­elling spec­u­la­tion that the two have fallen out.

Cam­paign­ing has been dom­i­nated by prom­ises to tackle poverty, cor­rup­tion, and guar­an­tee sta­bil­ity in the West African state.

Hun­dreds of Liberi­ans wait in a queue to cast their vote.

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