Liberians vote for new president

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JOHANNESBURG– Liberians are voting for a new president in Tuesday’s run-off election between former international soccer star, senator George Weah, and 73-year-old vice present Joseph Boakai, AP reports.

Whoever secures Tuesday’s polls will replace Africa’s first female head of state, economist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and see the West African nation, founded by freed American slaves, hand over power from one democratically elected government to another.

It has been a tumultuous few months leading up to this election as the impoverished nation of approximately 2.2 million voters make their choice.

The runoff was contested twice in court, with its original November 7 date delayed after the third-place Liberty Party filed a complaint of fraud that was dismissed by Liberia’s Supreme Court.

The first-round of elections took place on October 10.

Sirleaf steps down after two terms in office which saw her struggle with an Ebola outbreak from 2014-2015 which killed approximately 5,000 Liberians.

Prior to her presidency repeated civil wars decimated the country’s economy and infrastructure.

Sirleaf has backed off supporting either candidate after initially supporting her vice president and then claiming that she preferred Weah who is mostly supported by the younger generation with 60 percent of the population below 30.

Bokai is relying on job creation, including promising 50,000 jobs in the first 150 days, and an improved infrastructure, specifically road reconstruction, as his draw card for winning support.

African News Agency (ANA)