Voting commences in Liberia’s presidential run-off poll


Voting has begun in polling centres across Liberia as the West African country chooses its next president in a delayed presidential run-off election.

The run-off is between former international football star, Sen. George Weah and incumbent Vice President, Mr Joseph Boakai.

Weah won the first round of elections on Oct. 10 with 38 per cent of the total votes cast and was followed by Boakai who came second with 29 per cent.

But, both men fell short of the 50 per cent plus one absolute majority vote required for a winner to emerge in the first round, hence the run-off.

The winner will succeed outgoing President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is stepping down in January after completing her constitutional 12-year tenure of two terms of six years each.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondent in Monrovia, the capital, reports that polls opened at exactly 8:00 GMT at centres visited.

However, voter turnout was low at the centres compared to the Oct. 10 elections.

NAN observed the presence of security personnel and at least three queue controllers at each of the centres.

Oppong Wennah, a polling official, told NAN that the process had been smooth and fast, but said the turnout was low.

A voter, Dillion Boakai, said he spent less than 20 minutes on queue to cast his vote unlike Oct. 10 when he managed to vote after six hours.

Others who spoke said they had no problem with the run-off holding on Boxing Day, adding that it was necessary price for a peaceful transition of power.

This is first transition election since 1973 in a country that is recovering from over a decade of devastating civil war.