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Close race between Liberia's president and opposition leader in presidential poll

Liberia President George Weah   -  
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Christophe Ena/AP2007


Liberia’s president, George Weah, and opposition leader, Joseph Boakai, are neck and neck in the race for the presidency as vote tallying continues from last week’s presidential and legislative polls.

Provisional results published on Sunday by the National Elections Commission showed Weah had 43.8% to Boakai’s 43.54%.

The commission has 15 days from the date of the election to announce the final results. If neither candidate gets more than 50 per cent, a run-off will be held on 7 November.

In the 2017 poll, the two men also faced a second round of voting which Weah ultimately won with 61.5% to Boakai’s 38.5%.

Regional and international election observers last week described the polls as largely peaceful polls and with a high voter turnout.

The vote was the first to take place in Liberia since the United Nations ended its peacekeeping mission there in 2018.

It was created after more than 250,000 people died in two civil wars between 1989 and 2003.

The West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, of which Liberia is a member, has warned against groups attempting to declare premature victories.

It called on Liberians to exercise restraint as they wait for the official provisional results.

While Weah, a beloved soccer star, has been hugely popular, his six years in office have been marred by corruption allegations and ongoing economic hardship.

Boakai has campaigned on promises to rescue Liberia from what he calls Weah's failed leadership.

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