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Liberia's Weah who seeks re-election remains popular in hometown

A supporter holds up a painting of Liberian President George Weah ahead of a final campaign rally in Monrovia, on October 8, 2023   -  
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JOHN WESSELS/AFP or licensors


Geoge Weah, a former international football star who was born in Clara Town, a slum community in Monrovia, is seeking a second term as president of Liberia.

19 candidates are competing to unseat him in Tuesday's general elections.

Weah has supported the construction of recreational parks in several disadvantaged neighbours of the capital since his elections in 2018. And has promised to build more throughout the country if re-elected.

Student Prince N. is a strong supporter of the incumbent president.

"George Weah brought the sports park to us and he gave us a road. So we the community, the entire community and 14th precinct, we appreciate [him]. "

The sports complex in Clara Town is home to a synthetic turf football field, a basketball court and a children's play area.

Huge hopes

It stands in stark contrast to the surrounding landscape of makeshift shacks overlooking mud alleys flooded by recent heavy rains. 

In a nation where more than a fifth of the population lives on less than $2.15 a day according to the World Bank, pressing issues include the economy and access to water and electricity.

"We want him to work for our community," seller Bessy N. says. 

"The water is giving us difficulties. No electricity, no water. For the drainage, once there is a small rainfall, all our houses are filled with water, so when Weah, is reelected, we want him to help us with these. Let them fix the drainage for the water; because when the water comes, everything is flooded."

The election of Weah, the only African Ballon d'Or raised huge hopes at the time in a country which had been ravaged by civil wars  and ravaged the Ebola epidemic (2014-2016).

The 57-year-old promised to create jobs, reduce inequalities and fight corruption. This, the opposition says, he has failed to achived.

Voter Béatrice D. Williams who is also the commissioner of Garworlohn Township, dismisses: "I think president Weah after he took power, he met a lot of challenges. Then we came with coronavirus. The virus was here for two years. So the president within four years, he did some tangible things. Since I was born and grew up, what president Weah did in this country, no president had ever done before."

Over 2.4 million voters are registered for the presidential and legislative elections to pick 73 deputies and 15 senators out of the country's 30 at the end of their term of office.

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