Liberia heads to the polls in high-stakes presidential race


In a new development, one of Liberia's leading political parties has called for a halt in announcing results of Tuesday's presidential election.


"It is not often that you have a former player who becomes a president of a country", Wenger said.

"As a longstanding friend, the United States applauds the people of Liberia for exercising their democratic right to vote in the historic presidential and legislative elections", said a statement from US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

Liberia with an estimated population of 4.5 million has 2.18 million registered voters for the elections which were held in 2,080 polling centres nationwide.

There were 986 aspirants for the 73 seats in the House of representatives.

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Vice-President Joseph Boakai and footballer George Weah are seen as the frontrunners to succeed the Nobel Peace Prize victor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who led the country's recovery from Ebola and civil war. If no candidate manages to win 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will take place on November 7.

"The future of the country is in your hands, no one is entitled to your vote, not because of party, ethnicity, religion or tribal affiliation", Sirleaf, a co-winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, said in a speech on Monday.

As Liberians head to the polls to elect their new president, the rest of Africa is sending farewell messages to the first democratically elected African female President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, whose second term comes to an end in a week's time.

The election turnout was impressive, especially among younger generations, said Christopher Fomunyoh of the USA -funded National Democratic Institute, which was monitoring the elections.