Liberia's presidential election likely to need runoff vote

Posted October 16, 2017

The first African player to win both FIFA's World Player of the Year trophy and the Ballon d'Or, Weah was largely absent from Liberia during the 1989-2003 civil war period, playing for a string of top-flight European teams including PSG and AC Milan.Liberian Vice President and presidential candidate Joseph Boakai (C) attends to cast his vote at a polling station in Monrovia during presidential elections on October 10, 2017.

Liberty Party candidate, Charles Brumskine, obtained 48,219 votes (9.3%).

"No matter the outcome of this election, it will result in a transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another for the first time in the lives of many Liberians", it said in a statement.

A candidate needs more than 50% of the votes for outright victory If no-one achieves that, a second round will be held in November, which is increasingly looking likely between the two leading contenders.

One of the largest political parties called for a halt to vote-counting Thursday, alleging voting irregularities and fraud.

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Observers from the USA -based Carter Center and National Democratic Institute (NDI) also said they had not identified any major issues with the voting or subsequent counting.

Whoever wins the vote will take over power from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who has served a maximum two terms and is stepping down after 12 years. However, he has yet to produce evidence of cheating and worldwide observers said they saw no major problems.

Also in the statement, the United Nations chief congratulated the people of Liberia who turned out enthusiastically in high numbers to vote, and commended the Liberian women's groups for their active and important role in the electoral process. "I thank them for participating in this process", she told reporters.

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

Mr Weah, 51, has chosen Taylor's ex-wife Jewel Howard Taylor as his running mate.