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New alliances shape up politics in Liberia ahead of Tuesday runoff

Presidential candidate Joseph Boakai in Monrovia, Liberia, November 10th 2023   -  
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Liberian president George Weah will face political veteran Joseph Boakai on Tuesday in a presidential election run-off.

Weah beat Boakai by just 7,126 votes out of almost two million Liberians who voted in the first round in October:

The two also battled it out in 2017 when Weah won with over 61%. But now they're neck and neck at 43% each.

Weah won the election in 2017 amid high hopes brought about by his promise to fight poverty and generate infrastructure development. His goal, he had said, was to push Liberia from a low-income country to a middle-income one.

But Weah has been accused of not living up to key campaign and ensure justice for victims of the country’s civil wars.

He has forged alliances with local leaders, including former warlord and senator Prince Johnson, who remains influential in the northern province of Nimba.

At 57 Weah, an ex-international football star, remains popular with younger people as Boakai is a much older 78.

Boakai is a political veteran who from 2006 to 2018 was the vice-president of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was Africa's first elected female head of state.

He's held may positions within the state and the oil industry.

But there are fears that violence could break out its been twenty years since two civil wars came to an end that killed a quarter of a million Liberians.

The electoral commission has up to 15 days to publish the results.

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