Vote counting commenced in Liberia on Wednesday following a presidential run-off between George Weah, the football icon seeking re-election, and former vice-president Joseph Boakai.
In the initial round of voting in October, Weah fell short of the 50 per cent threshold required for an outright win. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) released partial results from 22.33 per cent of polling stations late on Wednesday, showing a narrow lead for the opposition leader.
NEC president Davidetta Browne Lansanah reported that Boakai’s Unity Party had secured 50.71 per cent of the vote so far, while Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change garnered 49.29 per cent. This is the second showdown between the two, with Weah having won in 2018.
Anticipation is high as observers anticipate a close outcome, mirroring the neck-and-neck first-round results from last month. The electoral commission has a 15-day window from the polls to declare official results, although an earlier announcement remains possible.
Liberia continues to grapple with the aftermath of two civil wars spanning from 1989 to 2003 and an Ebola outbreak that claimed numerous lives. These elections mark the first since the conclusion of the UN’s peacekeeping mission in 2018.
Amidst national and international observer scrutiny, the voting process has seen few minor incidents reported thus far.